Friday, February 5, 2010

A hidden treasure discovered by the world

The City of Arts and Sciences.
The entrance to the Cathedral is an homage to Valencia's historical past.
From historic Old Town, marked by the Cathedral of Valencia, to the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia is a 2,000-year-old city rich with tradition and bursting with modern architecture.
Beginning next week Valencia plays host to the 33rd America’s Cup Match. The Port America’s Cup was created especially for the 32nd Cup in 2007, and more than 2.8 million spectators flocked to the site for the three-month competition. The port will once again be the centre of attention during the Match, with many events planned for the Veles e Vents building.
Valencia prides itself as one of the fastest growing urban destinations in Europe. Yearly celebrations such as Fallas, the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe and seasonal fashion shows attract visitors from across the continent.
Valencia boasts more than 40 museums where art and history from all eras can be enjoyed. Foremost on the list is the City of Arts and Sciences, a centre for the diffusion of scientific and cultural knowledge. It includes unique buildings such as L’Hemisfèric, the Prince Felipe Science Museum and L’Oceanogràfic (the largest centre for marine life in Europe). The Valencian Museum of Modern Art displays modern art while promoting research into and knowledge of 20th century art in general, and the Palau de la Música is the city’s musical bastion.
On the historic side Valencia is rich with architectural influences from the eras of Roman, Arabic and Christian rule. Valencia was founded in the year 138 B.C. by the Romans, who established the Forum in the Plaza de la Almoina, now converted into a museum. The Visigoths arrived in Valencia after the Romans, but in 714 Muslim rule was established in the city in and remained until the year 1238, when King Jaime I expelled the Moors from the city. The Arabs left a very deep mark on the city, as their water networks, recipes and artistic influences remain noticeable today. The Tribunal de las Aguas, declared as an Intangible Word Heritage site by UNESCO, is an example of the Arabs heritage.
Structures such as The Cathedral, the Torres de Serrano and Torres de Quart, and La Lonja (Silk Exchange) –an official World Heritage site– are a few examples of the magnificent golden era that reigned in Valencia during the 14th and 15th centuries.
Travelling to Valencia is easy. By air, the Manises Airport is 8km from the city and is connected to more than 20 European cities and 16 international destinations. By land, an extensive network of motorways and railways links Valencia with all major destinations throughout Spain and Europe.
Once in the city, moving around is easy due to the five underground lines, the tram and the extensive bus network. The sightseeing “Bus Turístic” offers three different routes to see the city and its bright orange colour make it easy to recognise.
L’Hemisfèric is one of the unique modern structures marking Valencia's skyline.

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