City of Arts and Sciences, València…

The complex was created by architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela. They worked together with the engineers who designed the structural covers of L’Oceanografic, (the aquarium), Alberto Domingo and Carlos Lázaro. It was inagurated on the 9th of June of 1998 together with the opening of El Hemisférico. The last of the components was the Ágora, which is located between the bridge called l’Assut de l’Or y and l’Oceanogràfic.

The entire complex was built at the end of what once was the River Turia. The entire river was transformed into one of the largest urban parks in Europe. It extends close to seven kilometres and contains beautiful trees, plants, flowers, gardens, bike paths, fountains, football fields, bars, cafes, restaurants and it is the most magnificent place to rest, stroll or exercise in the city.​

The City of Arts and Sciences, received 2,8 million visitors in 2018. The buildings are:

L’Hemisfèric

Shaped like a human eye. Contains an IMAX cinema, a planetarium with laser show. Its surface is approximately 13.000 m².

Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe

Sort of resembles the skeleton of a whale…It is an interactive science museum. Occupies approximately 40.000 m².

L’Umbracle

A garden area with a walkway for strolling and resting containing plants that are autocthonous to the Comunidad Valenciana. It is covered with floating arches from where one can see the entire area of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. It also contains an open air art gallery of sculptures, El Paseo de las Esculturas, which includes sculptures from such contemporary artists as Miquel Navarro, Francesc Abad and Yoko Ono among others.

El Oceanográfico

This is the aquarium, which is the largest in Europe with 110.000 sq. metres and 42 million litres of water. The top, in the form of a water lilly is the work of architect Adrián Peláez Coronado, a native of Valencia. The design of the same was the work of structural engineers Alberto Domingo and  Carlos Lázaro. The principal ecosystems of the world are represented: Mediterranean, Tropical Seas, Antarctic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Islands and the Red Sea. There is a submarine restaurant whose covers were designed by Félix Candela.

Palacio de las Artes Reina Sofía

Contains four large salons: Principal, Magistral, Anfitheatre and Small Theatre. Also an Expositions room. This theatre space is dedicated to Music and the Scenic Arts, Theatre.

El Puente de l’Assut de l’Or

Communicates the southern route with Menorca Street and its pylon, reaching 125 metros in height, is the highest point in the city.

El Ágora

A covered space dedicated to the presentation of concerts and sporting events, like the new grand prix of tennis of the Comunitat de Valencia. From 2020 on it will be the home of the CaixaForum València.​

Certainly a major attraction and a must see…

If you have liked what you have seen and read, please hit that like button, follow and share. It is greatly appreciated. And comments are always encouraged and greatly welcome. For more of my artwork, please follow my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my online galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

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SEVILLA! The Heart of Andalucia!

Sevilla is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalucia. Some may say it is the third city in Spain in population. I believe it is Valencia but it’s not important, it’s a great city with lots of history, culture and great food. And of course, Sevilla is a very artistic city. You will find many galleries, artists studios, exhibitions, expos, book fairs, art fairs and above it all, like a smiling Buddha, is Flamenco. If you love Flamenco, Sevilla offers some great performers that specialise and perform all the diverse rhythms and styles of that ancient musical form.

Por Bulerias, Bailaora Flamenca

The city is on the shores of the Guadalquivir River. This river, whose basin is in the Cazorla Sierra, extends 657 kilometers and ends in the Golf of Cadiz on the Atlantic Ocean.

Mapa de Río Guadalquivir

Sevilla is modern and ancient. From Sevilla, five hundred years ago, sailed Magallanes en route to circumnavigate the earth. From the top of the Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Sevilla, you can see how the city extends and the many swimming pools to keep away the heat of the Andalusian summers!

We arrived by fast train, the AVE from Valencia. It was a very pleasant four hour train ride crossing through La Mancha, (the plains where Don Quijote rode and fought the windmills), then into Cordova and down to Sevilla.

There was something special about being in Sevilla. I could feel it. From the big, modern train station, Santa Justa, to the energy you feel as soon as you step outside to wait for your Uber. The streets were glimmering in the midday sun when we arrived and the heat was just getting started. It was the end of June. (A quick note: Uber works very well in Sevilla I should say, we used them several times in the city and we were well pleased)

The center of Sevilla is very close to the train station but it takes a while to get there as you have to maneuver through very narrow streets, most of them one way and traffic is always heavy in that part of town. Also, Sevilla has one of the largest historical districts in Spain, so the Old City is pretty huge.

We stayed at the Alameda de Hercules, in the Old City. Not directly in what is considered the center but just a short walk away. This area of the Alameda does not seem like much during the day but it really becomes an interesting place after six in the afternoon and long into the night, when all the tapas bars are open. There are restaurants, jazz bars, sushi restaurants and lots and lots of people about. There are also art exhibitions, book stores and several galleries in and around the plaza. You will encounter street musicians playing anything from opera to flamenco jazz. Of course, at both ends of the Alameda are the pillars of Hercules.

Resultado de imagen de sevilla alameda de hercules

We found walking around the city to be quite easy and pleasant, in spite of the heat. Actually, if you went out early, say around 0900 hours, the weather was quite pleasant. The heat really began to set in after 1500 hours.

Close by to the Alameda is the Macarena district with many restaurants, bars and book stores, yes! In Spain we still read lots and lots of books. There are many poetry readings which are quite common and very popular with everybody, in Sevilla, Valencia and all of Spain. In the Macarena district I suggest you visit the Basilica de Santa Maria de la Esperanza Macarena, (Saint Mary of Hope Macarena). The Basilica houses a much venerated image of Our Lady of Hope, commonly called La Macarena.

Continuing a route south and east, we can walk to the Guadalquivir River. This wide and deep river runs southeast opening to the Atlantic Ocean in the city of Cadiz. There is a very nice riverwalk promenade where you can stroll, get some fresh cool air or just sit and read a book.

On the other side of the river is Triana. It is a very nice neighbourhood of Sevilla with many tablaos (Flamenco bars), many nice restaurants, on the river and on Calle Betis, which borders the Guadalquivir. Triana also has a very nice market, el Mercado de Triana. You can find it just as you cross the Puente de Isabel II from the Sevilla side.

Triana Market on the “other” side of the Guadalquivir in the Triana neighbourhood

And of course, on the river you cannot miss the Torre de Oro, the Gold Tower.

Torre de Oro, River Boat and watersports on the Guadalquivir

I truly recommend a few days stay in Sevilla. The people are genuine and lovely. They have that southern, Andalusian charm and even their accent is friendly and pleasant to the ear. The old city is full of tapas bars, restaurants and lots and lots of shops. Most of the places feature outdoor eating and even in Sevilla’s summer heat, it is a wonderful experience. And don’t worry, these places outside are made to take advantage of the breeze and they all have mists to cool you off.

There’s the Cathedral, one of the largest in the world.

Then the Real Alcazar, which still functions as a Royal Palace.

Finally, Sevilla has magic, especially at night. The little stone streets, the old houses, the medieval architecture housing modern tapas bars and restaurants. You have to experience Sevilla.

If you like my work, please hit that like button, share and follow. I write about many things but basically, I am an artist living and working in Valencia, my home. My artwork can be seen in Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and Twitter, @Euskadi_Bakero and my 2019 new work, called “JaZzArt en Valencia” is at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

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From My Blood-Red Orange Pt.7 Russafa or Ruzafa

Falla Cuba y Puerto Rico, Valencia 2019

“Las Fallas,” the superb street festival per excellence happens every year in March in my beloved Valencia. It features extraordinary artwork, like the one above, which burns to extinction on the night of the 19th of March, Festival of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters. Carpenters, artists and an assorted group of craftsmen and artisans labour throughout the year in the “Ciudad Fallera” region of Valencia. Their work is destined to become a “falla” or a torch and burn to oblivion at the end of the festival. It is a art as ephemeral as a theatre play or a concert. Enjoy it well during its brief lifetime for soon it will be gone forever…except in our mobile phones…and become only a memory.

The picture above is of the falla (basically it can be translated as a “torch”) located at the intersection of Carrer de Cuba and Carrer de Puerto Rico in my neighbourhood of Ruzafa (Russafa in Valenciano). It was recognised as one of the most beautiful and extremely detailed falla of the festival. The message was fantasy and colour, others carry social, political and humorous messages but all burn! An interesting note, which speaks of the professionalism of the Fire Department of the City of Valencia, is that on the night of the 19th of March, eight hundred of these fallas burn in different parts of the city and not a single building, tree or any other part of the city is damaged by runaway fire.

If you wish to see a grand spectacle with colour, art, drama and fireworks, I sincerely recomend you to visit Valencia during the week prior to the 19th of March. During that week you can stroll the streets and visit all the fallas and then you can choose your favourite one to see burn. The festival is city wide and although there were eight hundred fallas in Valencia, the most interesting ones were in the Russafa neighbourhood. The wood, plaster and fiberglass sculptures are judged for their artistry and content before they are torched on St. Joseph’s Night. (The one above ended up in eighth place)

This is just one more art event very evident in the Ruzafa neighbourhood. There are many more. Next June, (2020) Russafa once again celebrates its biannual festival called “Russafart” where all the artists of the neighbourhood open their studios and galleries to the public. This is a truly unique oportunity for all to enjoy a wide array of different styles and genres of art and as well the chance to savour the cuisine and the libations of this unique and cosmopolitan neighbourhood of the third largest city in the Kingdom of Spain.

If you liked this article please share and like and I invite you to follow my pages if you are interested in art and other things…

AND…I also invite you to visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera where you can see many of my artwork, both paintings and drawings.

AND…please visit my online galleries…just to browse…where my new collection of JaZzArt in Valencia can be seen by going to http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

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From My Blood-Red Orange Pt 6, the Orange is Valencia

“The Five Roads” and “Dancer Without a Face”

I did not intend to move to Valencia, Spain but I am very glad that I did. The Valencian Community, or Comunitat Valenciana, is one of the most blessed autonomous regions of the Kingdom of Spain. Valencia is the capital city and it is truly a Mediterranean beauty!

My family origins are from La Mancha, Castilla-La Mancha, to be precise. This community is very close to the Comunitat Valenciana but nowhere near as fascinating, therefore I chose to move to Valencia instead. Really, there was no contest as I need to be close to the sea and that meant my beloved Cuenca, was out of the question.

In any event, here in Valencia I have established my new galleries and art studio, Omnia Caelum. I am looking forward to participating in Valencia’s biennale, Russafart, the next one in June 2020. Russafart means Russafa…the neighbourhood…and Art. It is an event where chosen artists and galleries hold open houses…wine and cheese…and thousands of tourists, collectors and art lovers can visit any and all. I was lucky in choosing to live in Russafa for you must live and work here in order to participate.

Russafa is a rather centrally located neighbourhood which is known now as the trendy part of town. There are many art galleries, shops and lots and lots of bars, usually on the corners where you can have breakfast, lunch and lots of delicious beer!

So, I thank you so much for reading this, and I hope you like and follow. I will be posting about my art work and about this beautiful and vibrant city. It would also be interesting to generate discussions on art, culture, travel etc. whatever you like!

To see more of my art work, please follow me on Instagram as I usually upload my work there first. I am at @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera AND

you can check out my JaZzArt en Valencia collection on my online galleries http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155 and you do not have to purchase anything, kjust browse and comment.

THANKS!