City of Arts and Sciences or CAC
By Marie Sonzini
alencia's City of Arts and Sciences, Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, also called CAC, whose project was born in the early 90s, is the featured destination for visitors. This stunning futuristic architectural complex, completely surrounded by landscaped gardens and water, covers about 2 km the eastern end of the "Garden of the Turia" (Turia old riverbed).
Valencia's City of Arts and Sciences
The CAC is a huge cultural complex that is now divided into six main buildings, a cinema IMAX, a Museum of Science, a vertical garden, an aquarium, an Opera House and an Agora.
The unit color of this great architectural space is white. The contrast of the white concrete structures partly covered with white "trencadis" (shards of broken ceramic tiles) against the backdrop of the blue Mediterranean sky is enhanced by the strong sunlight of Valencia.
The six buildings of the CAC
More than ten years between the inaugurations of the six buildings that make up the complex of the City of Arts and Sciences. The first one being the Hemisferic in 1998 and the last one, the Agora, which was inaugurated in 2009.
- Hemisfèric (1998)
The Hemisfèric, large eye-shaped, houses an IMAX 3D, exhibition and conference halls
- Museo de las Ciencias (2000)
Interactive museum of science and technology
- Umbracle (2001)
Large shaded roof garden covering the parking of the CAC
- Oceanográfic (2003)
Oceanographic Park, the largest aquarium in Europe, designed by Felix Candella
- Palau des Arts Reina Sofía (2005)
Palais des Arts Opéra, concerts, ballets, théâtre expérimental, conférences
Opera, concerts, ballets, experimental theater, conferences
- Ágora (2009)
Covered area of 5,550 seats designed to accommodate large events such as the Valencia Open 500
In the same area, between the Science Museum and the Oceanographic Park in Valencia, the "Assut de l'Or" suspension bridge, mainsail shaped with a 150 M mast.
All these constructions and projects, apart from the aquarium (Oceanografic) designed by Mexican architect of Spanish origin Felix Candela, are the work of the same architect, Santiago Calatrava.
The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) is indivisible from names of both City of Valencia and Santiago Calatrava, designer of the complex, to such an extent that some like to call it "Calatrava City" (Ciudad Calatrava), or better yet, "Calatravaland".
The success is undeniable. The City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia attracks annually more than 4 million visitors. The favorite destination is by far the aquarium (Oceanografic).
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
Autopista del Saler 1 - Phone: +34 902 100 031
Official web site: www.cac.es (English, spanish and valencian versions)
How to get there: by foot walking along the Turia gardens, by bus EMT lines Nº 15, 35 et 95 or by taxi