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Discover the Palau de les Arts

Discover the Palau de les Arts

Get to know the Palau de les Arts, one of the main badges of Santiago Calatrava's project

After the inauguration of the Hemisfèric in 1998, the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum and the Umbracle in 2000, and the opening to the public of the Oceanográfico in 2003, the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía completes the artistic facet of the Generalitat’s firm bid for culture in its broadest sense together with science, technology, and nature.

It was inaugurated in 2005 and is equipped with the most modern technologies to constitute an avant-garde and modern space, which is the cultural catalyst that has placed the Region of Valencia, with its centenary musical tradition, in a privileged position among all other world regions.

This majestic building, designed by the Valencia architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, means that both the city and the Region of Valencia have the best infrastructure available in order to participate on international circuits, especially those of opera and major musical shows.


Surrounded by a green landscaped area of 87,000 square metres and expanses of water of over 10,000 square metres with surrounding walkways, the Palau de les Arts has 4 major halls:

  • The Main Hall, which can hold over 1,400 people, has been designed essentially for opera productions but can also be converted into a setting for ballet and other scenic arts.
  • The Master Hall holds 400 people and is located on the west side of the Palau; it has been specially designed for live shows by small music groups.
  • The Auditorium holds over 1,400 people.
  • The Martín y Soler Theatre building is devoted to Applied Arts and is adjacent to the Palau. It holds 400 people and is where the Improvement Academy will be located.

The building also has installations for teaching activities and others closely related to artistic and cultural environments.


The innovative architecture of this building of 37,000 square metres, which within a height of over 70 metres includes four auditoriums for different events of opera, theatre, and music, has a surprising multiplicity of atmospheres. It has projecting platforms at different heights with walkways and vegetation, which are reached by panoramic lifts and stairways on the interior of the metallic frames on both sides of the building.

The building is lenticular in shape and extends beneath a large outer roof or metallic feather resting on two supports, an outer one on the west side and another intermediate one that leaves the east end of the building overhanging in its entirety. The material used par excellence is white concrete as it has been used for the large structural supports of the building, while “trencadis” is the second material used to cover the spectacular “waterfalls” of the Palau.

The roof is the most representative part of the complex, since apart from its structural rigidity and geometric precision it has a large amount of expressivity and plastic intention that brings out the artistic nature of the activity to the exterior.

The roof or “feather” is the most spectacular structural element and is 230 m long and over 70 m high. Its two “shells” which enclose the building have been constructed of laminated steel and weigh some 3,000 tonnes; they are covered with a ceramic layer (trencadis). The maximum all-enveloping dimensions of the building taking into account its curved shape are 163 m in length and 87 m in width.

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