Thursday, June 18, 2009

Valencia, Spain ....The Twilight Knights



The Twilight Knights, originally uploaded by egold.
When I saw first time these fantastic Calatrava’s creations, my imagination immediately transformed these buildings into the helmets of two gigantic knights hiding under water and guarding this beautiful city - Valencia... It was not twilight time but it was dark atmosphere around and I called them The Twilight Knights... After that I saw them many times by different conditions but my first impression was the strongest...

Actually the names of these two buildings are El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía and L' Hemisfèric...
In 1989, the president of the Valencian Generality, Joan Lerma, assumed the idea of José María López Piñero, professor of history of the science of the University of Valencia, to build a scientific museum in the lands of the Garden of the Turia river that bordered the road with the mulberry trees. Lerma entrusted the creation of a team that articulated the project and that visited spaces of similar characteristics in Munich, Canada and London to devise a project of evident pedagogical appearance: an atom would serve of guide to the visitor to show him all the facets of the nature.
In May of 1991, the council approved the transfer of lands; four months later presented the project designed by Santiago Calatrava and at the end of that year gave the green light to the constitution of a public business, who served as the constructors of the bridge. The projects were initiated by the end of 1994. The team that had designed the museum did not see eye to eye with the form in which Santiago Calatrava conceived the building. Therefore, a couple changes were made.

In April of 1998 the complex opened its doors to the public with L' Hemisfèric. Eleven months later, the president Eduardo Zaplana inaugurated the Museum of the Sciences Prince Felipe, although the works were not finished. The museum was opened to the public twenty months later. December 12, 2002, was the opening of L' Oceanographic, the largest aquarium built in Europe. And October 8, 2005 the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía was opened, but it lost its initial condition of headquarters of the Valencian film Library to be become the opera house of Valencia.

All complex of many buildings and bridges named The City of the Arts and the Sciences (in Valencian: Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències). It’s a cultural, architectural complex of entertainment for the city of Valencia and probably is the best architectural creation of our time.

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