Friday, February 6, 2009

Valencia, Spain - Turia Gardens & Bridges

The initial development of the Turia's new course takes in a 170,000-square-meter expanse, including sports facilities, bike paths, exercise stations, & lush gardens superimposed upon the dry river bed. You'll discover its rambling beauty on a stroll eastward, along distinctive sections that wrap around the heart of old Valencia's serpentine streets and plazas. An area visually rich with Baroque, Romanesque, Gothic and Mudejar architecture. 

To begin to appreciate the Turia's transformation, start at the western boundary. The new Cabecera Park, a 35-hectare nature preserve formally connects the diverted river to it former site. The parkland's reconfigured terrain gives rise to naturalistic hills and a lake, threaded through with winding paths that culminate in a series of overlooks. Plantings emulate a Mediterranean pinewood and natural wetland habitat, enhanced by enclaves of exotic trees. And work continues on the Bioparc, a natural zoo reserve adjoining Cabecera.
My personal journey - the focus of my posts - engages with the Turia further along,
beyond Cabecera & the Bioparc, the history museum & sports stadium. 

Entering at the 19th-century Alameda, a leafy, Moorish-inspired walkway running parallel to the river bed, you'll pass beneath evocative bridges that help to define the Turia's newly landscaped spaces, unfolding as you approach the City of Arts and Sciences.  You'll also discover Valencia's historical gardens, Monforte and Viveros.

The aerial photos provide glimpses of Valencia's famous bridges, the Palau de la Musica, and Calatrava's buildings. Much more to follow.....
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