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Module 4: Valencia City and City of Arts and Sciences Complex
Capital City of the region and Third City in Spain – famous for its Lladro porcelain factory, and football (League Winners in 2002 & 2004, UEFA Cup winners 2004) and its rice growing! Valencia has a population of approx 800,000 people and a history dating back to 138BC.
Valencia is special as it combines one of the largest historical city centres in Europe together with modern state of the art structures such as the City of Arts and Sciences complex. The city is very flat, so that the ideal way to discover the City is on foot, waking the streets, taking in the great atmosphere and history of its Palaces, Plazas, restaurants and cafés
Key highlights of the city include a visit to:-
The gothic renaissance Cathedral, which is home to the Vatican-recognised Holy Grail chalice kept here. It is located on the site of the City’s very first temple dating from Roman times but the current building was built over a period of 150 years finishing in 1426. One of the entrances of the cathedral leads to the Plaza de la Virgin (Virgin’s square) where the oral Water Court has been held for the last ten centuries each Thursday. Magistrates judge conflicts involving irrigation water and dispense justice on the spot (no paperwork!)
The city’s monuments, shopping and museums can also be combined with a great beach, gastronomy (paella was invented here) and vibrant nightlife, considered to be among the best in Spain.
Lladro porcelain is made here and is a popular souvenir bought by many British tourists.
Valencia is a shoppers paradise with many trendy and classy shops, as well as being great for buying leather goods, shoes, ceramics and handicrafts. The city is also one of the biggest producers of “fans” in Spain (the hand held Spanish fans) with several fan shops in the City.
There is also the “Botanical Gardens”, designed in the XVIII century and considered one of the most prestigious in Spain, it is like an oasis in the city centre and with an important amount of different species.
Valencia also has one of the leading congress and conference venue in Spain, designed by Norman Foster, recently voted best in Spain.
Valencia is just 1 hour 30 minutes from Benidorm, either by excursion or by taking the local bus. For trains, guests would need to go into Alicante and then change.
Public Tourist Bus Services
There is a tourist bus service in the City. The service costs 10€ for a one day hop on and off pass. Buses leave the Plaza de La Reina (Queen’s Square) and a tour with 3 optional stops is conducted in 8 different languages via the use of earphones. There are 3 stops if guests want to get off the bus to view the attraction and return to the bus later in the day. The stops are at:-
There is also the “Lladro” bus (Lladro porcelain) which leave the Plaza de La Reina on Thursdays at 16.00, which take guests to the Lladro factory for a brief tour and visit to the Lladro showroom. Visit finishes approximately 18.30 and cost is 5€.
It is also possible to explore the city on a guided bike tour organised for groups or individuals, an exciting new way to explore the city.
The “City of Arts and Science” complex is a spectacular futuristic architectural design on the outskirts of Valencia. The complex has 5 zones, 4 of which are already open to the public, with the final zone opening soon.
1. L’Hemisfèric, The Imax Planetarium is shaped in the form of a human eye and surrounded by a pool of water reflecting a full spherical image of the building. It houses a concave 900m2 screen with audio visual shows in the planetarium Imax cinema, as well as laser shows. The structure can open and close like an eyelid over a period of around 10 minutes.
2. The interactive Science museum “Principe Felipe” where visitors learn about the evolution of life and the latest scientific and technology advances. Visitors can touch and experiment with the exhibits, which change every few months.
3. The L´umbracle is a spectacular walkway designed with gardens and sculptures that covers the two storey car park
4. The Oceanographic Park, the largest in Europe, is an underwater city. An immersion into the depths of the world’s oceans, from the Arctic, to the Antarctic and the temperate and tropical latitudes of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. It combines the natural marine world with a scientific and recreational centre, and marine species from around the globe. Included are various marine shows. There is also an underwater restaurant.
5. The final phase will be the Opera House for music, opera, dance and theatre.
For more information please visit www.cac.es
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