CHRONOLOGY OF THE CITY ARTS AND SCIENCES
Promoted entirely by the Generalitat Valenciana, the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias complex has become an international flagship and symbol of its commitment to cultural tourism and the dynamic approach of the Comunidad Valenciana to the world. Along almost two kilometres of the old riverbed of the Turia and within the actual city of Valencia, its six major elements aim to bring culture to the people and encourage public participation in a unique architectural environment with free public access to large areas: Hemisfèric (Imax, Planetarium and Laser), the Science Museum, Umbracle (Promenade and Car Park), Oceanogràfic (Aquarium), the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (Opera House) and the Agora.
HEMISFÈRIC "THE EYE OF WISDOM"
On the 16th April 1998, the President of the Regional Government of Valencia, Eduardo Zaplana, opened this unique building. The Chairman of the Board of Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias was José Luis Olivas and General Manager, Miguel Navarro.
Over an area of 14,000 square metres, this first section in the City of Arts and Sciences that was opened to the public was designed by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava.
It represents a huge human eye open to the world: the "Eye of Wisdom" that launched the City of Arts and Sciences project.
UMBRACLE " A VIEWPOINT WALK "
Opened on the 3rd of November 2000 by the President of the Regional Government of Valencia, Eduardo Zaplana, the Chairman of the Board of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias being at the time José Luis Olivas and its General Manager, Pilar García-Argüelles.
L´Umbracle has a capacity for up to 661 cars and 25 coaches. Its upper section holds a tree-shaded central garden with a balcony on the northern side that affords a magnificent panorama of the City of Arts and Sciences.
Planted with native species, rock roses, mastic trees, rosemary, bougainvillea, that change shape and colour with every season, their multiple hues forming a tapestry over the structure and spaces of L'Umbracle, creating different ambiences over the course of the walk.
Opened by the President of the Regional Government of Valencia, Eduardo Zaplana, on the 13th of November 2000, Chairman of the Board of Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias at the time being José Luis Olivas, the company being under the management of Pilar García-Argüelles, the Science Museum is a spectacular building covering over 40,000 m 2 designed to allow ordinary people to get closer to science and technology. It also has recreation and catering areas. Its opening consolidated the national importance of this complex.
OCEANOGRÀFIC "UNDERWATER CITY"
In 2002 the City of Arts and Sciences broadened its content with the Oceanogràfic, the largest marine centre in Europe, offering a thrilling underwater journey and confirming the centre's top position in Europe.
It was opened on the 12th December 2002 by the President of the Regional Government of Valencia, José Luis Olivas, the General Manager of Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias being José Manuel Aguilar.
The complex includes a representation of all the main marine ecosystems of the planet, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, continental waters to the icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic, through temperate and tropical habitats. It stands out for its education, conservation and research projects in the marine sciences.
PALAU DE LES ARTS REINA SOFÍA A PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Opened on October 8th 2005 by Her Majesty Queen Sofía and the President of the Regional Government of Valencia, Francisco Camps, the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is a magnificent building designed by Santiago Calatrava with an area of approximately 37,000 square metres and standing 70 metres high. It provides the City and Region of Valencia with the best route into the international arts circuits, particularly those of opera and major musical and theatre performances.
As a 21st century centre, the Palau de les Arts has all the latest technology to enhance its avant-garde and cutting-edge image. It is a driver of culture that puts the whole region of Valencia, with its age-old musical tradition, at the forefront of the world stage.
The Agora was the stage in November 2009 to the ATP's Valencia Open 500 tournament. The new icon of the City of Arts and Sciences is a versatile space that will allow the holding of varied events. A multi-functional setting has been planned for the staging of congresses, conventions, concerts, and performances; it can also be converted into an exhibition area.
The Ágora is a metallic structure with a ground plan resembling a pointed ellipsis some 88 metres long and 66 metres wide, and a covered area of some 4,811 square metres. This large interior space has been conceived as a covered public square with an open ground plan on a level with the adjacent lakes and parades.