Valencia, Spain Home of Santiago Calatrava

Valencia Oranges at the Train Station

Valencia Oranges at the Valencia Nord Train Station

Valencia, Spain is home of the Valencia orange, many olive groves and birthplace of famed futuristic architect and engineer, Santiago Calatrava.  One of his larger installations is in Valencia, named the City of Arts and Sciences.

The City of Arts and Sciences Complex in Valencia, Spain

Santiago Calatrava has over 50 major installations around the world and I have seen more than ten of them and will see several more as we trek through Europe.  It is difficult to find an article about one of his elegant, modern works of art without seeing the words delays, controversy, unworkable, litigation, scaled back, re-designed and over budget.  We travel next to Seville, Spain where Calatrava designed the Metropol Parasol, which we will be able to see from our balcony.  About this one installation, Wikipedia states: “Its appearance, location, delays and cost overruns in construction resulted in much public controversy.”  The massive City of Art and Sciences complex in his home town in no different, as the city is suing him since some of the plaster and tiles are falling off.  Also, the New York World Trade Center Transportation Center, which I have a photo of in my December 02, 2015 blog, was delayed almost ten years and exceeded the original $1.5 billion dollar budget by over $2 billion.  However, when finished, his creations are beautiful and amazing works of art.

In the photo below, I kept my eye on the drifting cloud and chose to photograph it when it was NOT behind the tall wired Calatrava art structure.  Notice there are two people in a rented clear plastic boat in the pond.  This angle shows three of the building in the City of Arts and Sciences complex.  The Planetarium in the foreground and the Aquarium in the background.  The middle is the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum.

Santiago Calatrava designed City of Arts and Sciences complex

City of Arts and Sciences complex

This tee-pee shaped tile structure is really just the cover for the elevators to the lower levels and parking garage.  Santiago carries on the tradition of Gaudi with his fantasy-like chimneys and air vents that we saw in Barcelona.  Why build a rectangular structure around the elevator when your imagination and budget can both run wild?

Calatrava Tee-Pee at the City of Arts and Sciences

Calatrava Tee-Pee housing the elevators at the City of Arts and Sciences

 

Lone Cloud at the Santiago Calatrava designed City of Arts and Sciences complex

Lone Cloud at the Calatrava City of Arts and Sciences complex

 

Planetarium at the City of Arts and Sciences Buildings

Planetarium or Hemisferic at the City of Arts and Sciences Buildings

 

The Aquarium at the City of Arts and Sciences Complex Valencia Spain

Santiago Calatrava designed Aquarium at City of Arts and Sciences Building

Aquarium at City of Arts and Sciences complex

 

Calatrava Aquarium Valencia, Spain

Calatrava Aquarium Valencia, Spain

 

Whale of a Tail

Whale of a Tail

 

Flipper at the Calatrava Aquarium Valencia, Spain

Flipper at the Calatrava Aquarium Valencia, Spain

Old Town Valencia, Spain

This section of Valencia houses magnificent monuments, churches and other historical buildings which define the city’s unique persona.  Here is a view from our couple-hundred year old rental apartment balcony on the fifth floor, no elevator.  It was a very lively street and was apparently the place to go for bachelorette and bachelor parties.

View from our rented Apartment Balcony

View from our rented Apartment Balcony

 

Staiirs to our Rented Apartment

Stairs to our Rented Apartment, fifth floor

From our balcony we could see periodic wedding celebrations and general fun.  One does not go to Valencia for the quiet relaxing atmosphere, rather go to get involved in the local culture.

 

Yes, Valencia is another town of quaint narrow streets with lots of good restaurants, but I chose to concentrate on the Calatrava Arts and sciences complex while in Valencia.

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