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.
Unique in the world for its size and its design, and for its important collection of sea life, The Oceanogràfic offers close-up knowledge of the behaviour of animals such as dolphins, sea lions, seals and sharks among other creatures. One can also learn about coral ecosystems and the diversity of the Mediterranean. Every section has a strong educational aspect regarding marine life and the need to preserve it.
The roofs of the Entry Buildings and the Restaurante Submarino designed by the architect Félix Candela are concrete hyperbolic paraboloids and their shape resembles a water lily.
This fourth section of the City of Arts and Sciences is designed as a project for experiencing and researching marine sciences and raising awareness to conserve its biodiversity.
The scientific and educational projects are supervised by an International Scientific Advisory Committee made up of renowned experts from aquaria, research institutes and universities of Europe and the United States.
The Oceanogràfic thereby fulfils the major objectives set by the Regional Government of Valencia when it was built: