A lot of people say Valencia is a city to fall in love with. Makes sense, cause this Spanish city on a three hour drive from Barcelona seems to have it all: culture, ancient buildings, a beach and great food. Besides that, art-lovers can eat their heart out. Hereby the five artistic cultural delights you must visit.
1. Valencia Institute of Modern Art (IVAM)
Spain’s very first modern-art museum Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM), opened its doors in 1989. It has a permanent collection that focuses on Catalan sculptor Julio González and it gathers around 400 of his wrought-iron works. The local impressionist painter Ignacio Pinazo is also well represented in the museum. The temporary exhibitors of the museum are often world-famous artists born in the 20th century, expert in different fields of art, from drawings to sculptures and artists that work with technology. One of the main goal of IVAM is to try to make its visitors reflect on the ideas and the aesthetics discourses that have appeared in the art world from the avant-garde period until nowadays. A visit to this museum therefor is a perfect choice for people who don’t like art just for its beauty, but also because of the message it tries to tell.
2. Museu de Belles Arts
Here you’ll find the works of local Valencian and national Spanish artists. One example of a well presented artist in the Museum de Belles Arts is the pioneer of the Spanish Renaissance El Greco. Other artworks include portraits by Alonso Sanchez Coello, famous for its tradition of Spanish portrait-paintings. There’s also a particularly good example of religious Renaissance painting titled the Virgin del Venerable Agnesio by Joan de Joanes.
3. Cultural Centrum Del Carmen El Carmen is one of the oldest towns in Valencia and centered this beautiful historical neighborhood you find the cultural centre Del Carmen. Only the building itself is a treat to look at since its beautiful and recently restored. Its two old courtyards are the cherry to the cake and make the building itself already worth the visit. The collection differs overtime and the exhibitions that it hosts often revolve around two main topics: local art and contemporary art. Therefore it is a great place to enjoy many different expositions on the new hypes, discourses and happenings in modern art, and more than that it is the perfect place to enjoy and discover the work of the most prominent (recent and old) Valencian artists.
4. Streetart El Carmen El Carmen is the bustling hearth for young local artists, proved by all the street art you’ll bump into everywhere when strolling through this neighborhood. Every so often you see a 'piece', then a few 'tags' and then look at a 'top to bottom' work of art. How to walk? From Plaza de la Virgen you walk through Calle Caballeros towards Plaza Tossal. Turn right. In the neighborhood of the streets Alta, Baja, Sogueros, Marques de Caro and Corona you will encounter the murals automatically.
5. City of Arts and Sciences
A lot off people will know Valencia from the L’Hemisfèric. The giant architectonic building that is meant to resemble a giant eye. Insitde there are an IMAX Cinema, planetarium and laserium. But there are more buildings and together they form the City of Arts and Sciences: aentertainment-based cultural and architectural complex.
Buildings that are part of this City of Arts and Sciences are:
El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, an interactive museum of science that resembles the skeleton of a whale. L'Umbracle: an open structure enveloping a landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia (such as rockrose, lentisca, rosemary, lavender, honeysuckle, bougainvillea, palm tree). L’Oceanogràfic: an open-air oceanographic park, designed by Félix Candela. It is the largest oceanographic aquarium in Europe with 110,000 square meters and 42 million liters of water. El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia: an opera house and performing arts center. It contains four large rooms: a Main Room, Magisterial Classroom, Amphitheater and Theater of Camera. l Pont de l'Assut de l’Or: a white cable-stayed bridge crossing the dry Turia riverbed, connecting the south side with Minorca Street, in between El Museu de les Ciències and L’Agora. L'Àgora: a covered plaza in which concerts and sporting events (such as the Valencia Open 500) are held.
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