The city of Valencia has an opera house that rivals that of Sidney without a doubt. In fact it is the 3rd largest opera house in the world after Metropolitan Opera House in New York City and Chicago’s Civic Opera Theatre. The Valencia Opera House [Queen Sofia Palace of the Arts] is located on a dry river bed that rings the old part of the city. The river was diverted and turned into a giant public space after devastating flood in 1957. Today the river bed plays host to Europe’s largest aquarium, a massive science world, IMAX theatre, and the opera house designed by native architect Santiago Calatrava. The opera house stands very tall and resembles a giant Spartan war helmet and is covered in Calatrava’s often used white concrete with an outer layer of broken mosaic tile [trencadís]. In the setting sun the building captures the warm rays and radiates them right back out. This is juxtaposed with the massive blue reflecting pools that connect it with the rest of the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències [City of Arts and Sciences].
If you are planning a trip to Spain I can’t recommend a stop over enough. The City of Arts and Sciences it simply amazing and will dazzle and delight all those of any age.
Photo Credit © 2009 JP Holecka0