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Architectural Tourism Handbook by Andis Sīlis

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Jewellery by Artists: From Picasso to Koons, an exhibition organised by the culture and art portal

Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · spain · Valencia · Architectural Tourism Handbook by Andis Sīlis


Author: Andis Sīlis0 COMMENTS


Valencia did not leave any particular impression on me, traveling through Spain by car for the first time. The second, however, was different and my attitude changed. Valencia features at least three architectural creations that make it worthwhile hanging out there at least for a couple of days.
Usually, historic centres best of all reveal a specific ambiance of a city. Valencia's pompous luxury did not appeal to me at all - until I found myself in an area marked by Mercado Central, Calle Caballeros and Plaza de la Reina.

Foto: Valencia

Small, crooked and weatherworn streets, in opposition to unappealing contemporary architecture along the central perimeter of the city, bring about a genuine joy. Miniature historically shaped public gardens and squares interrupt a string of facades here and there. Streets feature seemingly incidental expansions and occasionally - a vacant street corner with no house at all. A very romantic stroll with new dimensional delight again and again is guaranteed. It is a characteristic feature of a quality town planning, you will not find in densely built-up rich West European cities.

Foto: Valencia

Then, continue your walk towards a cathedral, located in de la Virgin square - an incredibly beautiful building, bearing witness of the flow of time. It features three different style portals - Romanic, Gothic and Baroque. In architectural language it is called „continuity" - a respectful attitude towards history, leaving in the shadow purity of style. Baroque style portal faces de la Reina Square and it's a brilliantly proportioned architectural dummy - artificially extended, it seems like an entrance into a huge church, although inside space is comparatively small.

Foto: Valencia

La Almoina archaeological centre, featuring a vivid masterpiece of contextual contemporary architecture, is located nearby. Its ascetic, flawlessly articulated volumes come into perfect tune with its historic surroundings. Glass-covered floor, revealing ancient ruins, is a witty high-tech formation. La Almoina's sophisticated details and well-balanced symbiosis of the new and the ancient cannot be compared with a vague variation on the same theme in the shape of Triangul Bastion in Riga.

Foto: ValenciaFoto: ValenciaFoto: Valencia

If the both above mentioned structures require a certain focus on the details, then Valencia ART & Science Center is truly mind-bowing in its exceptional intensity. This miracle of art, clearly meant for attraction of visitors, is designed by Spanish architect and structural designer Santiago Calatrava. Unparalleled in its irrationality, it can be regard as a kind of contemporary hypertrophic tectonic Empire - an example of elaborate futurism with undeniable spatial qualities, clad in a hyper-trendy white skeleton. Try not to miss opening time of the Oceanarium walls - it's a truly surreal sight.

Foto: ValenciaFoto: ValenciaFoto: Valencia

* For a great selection of places to stay with discount prices visit Valencia Hotels for more information.

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