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The Famous Las Fallas Festival

Nov 24, 2007
The 'Las Fallas' festival is a highly recommended spectacle, spreading the middle week of March, local and not so local artists contribute papier mache creations to the streets of Valencia creating an outdoor gallery that stimulates an unparalleled liveliness. The 'Las Fallas' festival comes to a lightening end on March 19th when all the city's temporary adornments are burnt 'la nit del foc'.

If you are not able to make it to Valencia in March, don't worry. Valencia's permanent attractions are enough to keep the culture and architecture loving tourist amused for weeks. A must do stop for all is the City of Art and Science. Santiago Calatrava, a Valencian native was the mastermind behind the design of the complex, quite literally a city within a city which has successfully bought the imagination of 21st century architecture to the reality of 21st century Spain. Both the architect and the city dreamt of an inspirational place where all may be touched by its beauty irrelevant of budget, and this is precisely what the City of Art and Science provides in it's 7 km of walkways.

The first part of the City of Art and Science, completed in 1998 was the eyeball of the structure a huge glistening ball resting on a glimmering water base fully equipped with a retractable eyelid. It is the eye of the City that houses the now world famous IMAX planetarium with its quod-lingual 3 dimensional presentation of our universe. 2 years after the opening of the 'eye' came the heart of the City of Art and Science; the museum. The inspiration for the museum building has never been revealed but plenty of suggestions have been made with some claiming it to be based on a prehistoric animal, whilst others claim an Industrial Revolution motivation; maybe it's both. Housed in the colossal structure one will find a new type of science museum that will have both kids and adults wanting to return over and over. The approach of the City of Art and Science is a hands on one whereby all should get involved and become inspired; 'don't touch' doesn't appear in the philosophy.

The third of the four main parts of the City of Art and Science is the Ocean grafic, or aquarium, featuring hundreds of sea species with each ocean represented. Unlike the rest of the complex, the aquarium was designed by Felix Candela, and the subtle architectural and design differences are interesting to note and add yet another dimension of interest to the site. Finally, the opera house with its adjacent halls provide not just a venue for Valencia's opera loving residence and visitors but aspires to provide a stage on which young people can develop a love for music and the performing arts.

Entrance to the City of Art and Science does not cost, however the exhibits and events do. The amount of time that one spends at the City of Art and Science will of course vary, but visitors should be aware that several days could be spend here very easily and enjoyably and so the content of a visit of less time should be considered very carefully. The City of Art and Science is open Sunday to Friday 10am-6pm, and 10am-8pm on Saturdays with the exception of the planetarium which should be checked on arrival in Valencia. A very pleasant if slightly long 7km walk will bring you from the centre of Valencia to the City of Art and Science, alternatively a short ride on the 13, 14, or 15 bus will take you there. As in the whole of Valencia the choice of hotels and hostels close to the site are both extensive and varied with hostels available from around 13 euros per night in a shared room, 3 star hotels starting at around 50 euros a night, and the most exclusive of hotels at hundreds of euros per night, with everything in between.
About the Author
Gaizka Pujana is the owner and manager of Get Ready Rentals. The short term holiday accommodation specialists worldwide. appartement valencia
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