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Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Museums worth visiting in Valencia (Part 1)

The city has museums of very different themes, from rich archeological sites to art galleries of any style, without forgetting the strong significance of science

Museo-de-Bellas-Artes

In Valencia there are a considerable number of museums, and most importantly, most of them enjoy great prestige in their area of activity. This is an undisputed attraction for the foreign public, but also a privilege for those who live in the city all year round.  You can revisit Velázquez’s work or, let yourself be impressed by the design of Miró, and even learn about posters, photography and comics. Past lovers will step back in time to the Roman and Arabic period through archeological centres, while those who think of the future will find state-of-the-art advances in the science museums. All of this without neglecting the elements that give personality to the city, although, we will leave that for another occasion.

Art for everyone

Those who love art will enjoy Valencia. The classic art gallery of the city is the Museo de Bellas Artes, where numerous paintings by Veláquez, Sorolla o Goya are exhibited. So many that it is considered the largest collection of Spanish paintings behind the Prado. Although its collection of 14th and 15th gothic table paintings are of special interest, the best-known jewels are the Virgin with the Child and the Self-Portrait by Velázquez, in addition to the painting of Borgia Popes in Rome donated by the Italian Pinturicchio. The historic building that houses the museum has the particularity, in addition, of having been the Seminary school Saint Pius V (Colegio Seminario San Pío V) founded in 1683.

IVAM

The Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (The Valencian Institute of Modern Art) is possibly where the city’s most contemporary artistic works come together. The Julio González Collection and Pinazo Collection are permanently exhibited, as well as one of the most important avant-garde collections of Spain. It also hosts travelling exhibitions focusing on modern art of different formats, from sculpture and painting, to graphic design, photomontage or the comic. From February to June of this year, the museum houses the exhibition “Orden y desorden” (Order and disorder), with 200 works by Joan Miró, the greatest exponent of surrealism that has never been exhibited in Valencia.

On the same street is the Museo Valenciano de la Ilustración y la Modernidad (Museum of Illustration and Modernity), which is also devoted to contemporary art, but essentially offers an interactive tour from the Enlightenment philosophy to scientific and architectural avant-garde, in addition to holding numerous exhibitions of photography, illustration or poster. The great building is the work of the prestigious architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra from Sevilla and is surrounded by a beautiful garden, where you can find Roman ruins and the Biblioteca Pública de Valencia (Public Library of Valencia).

Museo de Bellas Artes San Pío V – Location: C/ San Pío V, 9. Timetable: Monday, from 11.00 to 17.00 h; Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 19:00 h.
IVAM – Location: C/ Guillem de Castro, 118. Timetable: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 19:00 h. Make an appointment for guided tours.
MUVIM – Location: C/ Guillem de Castro, 8.Timetable: from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 14:00 h and from 16:00 a 20:00 h; Sundays and bank holidays, from 10:00 to 20:00h.

Living history

Valencia has been a land conquered by different people, something that has conferred richness to its culture, and what has left vestiges in many parts of the city. It is worth visiting the Museo Arqueológico de la Almoina (Archaeological Museum of Almoina), considered one of the best archaeological sites in Europe, which gathers the rests of the settlement of different civilizations in Valencia since 138 BC. The visit allows you to learn about the Roman, Visigothic or Arabic period of the city. Examples of this are a thermal baths dating back to the 2nd century and several monumental tombs.

Almodi

Another inexcusable visit for lovers of the past is the Museo del Almudín (the Almudin), of which building was declared national monument in 1969. It is built on the Muslim fortress of the early 14th century, which at the time was the main storage and sale place of wheat in the city. Nowadays, not only is it possible to enjoy its architecture, with a marked Gothic style, but in its interior it houses mural paintings of a popular character about the wheat market. Its exhibition possibilities are numerous and it has also hosted works by current artists, such as Miquel Navarro, Eduardo Chillida, Yoko Ono and Nassio Bayarri.

Almoina -Location: Plaza de Décimo Junio Bruto. Timetable: from Monday to Saturday, from 9.30 h. to 19.00 h; Sundays and bank holidays, from 9.30 h. to 15.00 h.
Almudín – Location: Plaza de San Luis Bertrán, 1. Timetable: from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9.30h to 14.00h and from 15.00h a 19.00h. Sundays and bank holidays, from 9.30h to 15.00h.

A Dose of Science

The City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia needs no introduction, as it is an unique architectural complex in the world, designed by Santiago Calatrava and composed of up to seven buildings. One of them is the Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe (The Príncipe Felipe Science Museum), arranged over three floors and a surface area of more than 40,000 m² aimed to interact and have fun with the great discoveries and inventions of humanity. In fact, it has collaboration agreements with the world’s most important science centers, such as San Francisco, Chicago, London or Paris. Among its premises is to encourage the interaction of visitors through exhibitions that honor its motto:”Do touch, do think, do feel”.

Museo-de-las-Ciencias

More conventional is the Museo de Ciencias Naturales , (Natural Science Museum) located in the emblematic Jardines de Viveros (Viveros Gardens), in a Rationalist building by the architect Luís Gay. Its aim is to show how landscapes and ecosystems have evolved throughout the history of our territory, structured into 4 areas: the Valencian contribution to natural sciences, life history, malacology and the Valencian ecosystems. It also has a fabulous exhibition of the palaeontology of the quaternary of South America, a legacy of J. Rodrigo Botet. One more example that in Valencia anyone can learn, while enjoying, in a museum room.

Museo Príncipe Felipe – Location: Avda. Autopista del Saler, 5. Timetable: from Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 20:00 h. On Saturdays it closes at 21:00.
Museo de Ciencias – Location: Avd. General Elío, s/n (Jardines del Real). Timetable: from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9.30h a 19.00h uninterrumptedly.
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