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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrL'Hemisfèric is an IMAX cinema and planetarium that is part of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. In 1998, it was the first building of the now famous cultural and architectural complex to open to the public. Even if you don’t want to spend your money to see a 3D film or star show on its big screen, it’s well worth a visit just to see its magnificent architecture.
ArchitectureL'Hemisfèric was designed by world-renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava , who worked with Félix Candela to design the entire City of Arts and Sciences' complex. It is meant to resemble a giant human eye known as the “eye of knowledge”, which symbolizes the observation of the world that visitors will experience when they view audiovisual projections inside the building. The structure itself creates the appearance of an eyelid, with its impressive indoor theater as the pupil. The large reflecting pool of water surrounding it completes the beautiful illusion, which is one of the most popular spots in Valencia to take photographs.
Things to Do
ProjectionsIf you’re willing to spend a bit of money during your visit to L'Hemisfèric, then head inside to see a 3D projection in its massive semi-spherical domed theater. They generally provide a wide selection of educational IMAX films on topics related to science, nature, and history as well as other audiovisual projections featuring things like astronomy shows and musical performances. However, the most exciting option is undoubtedly the planetarium show, which transports viewers into space with its amazing full-dome programs. Most films are offered in Spanish, English, and Valencian, and occasionally other languages such as French and Italian, so there’s no need to worry about not understanding the show.
Guided ToursA great way to learn about the architecture of L'Hemisfèric as well as the audiovisual technology it uses is by taking a guided tour. They offer 30-minute guided tours twice daily in both English and Spanish. That said, the tours are a bit pricey, so you might be better off doing some research on your own before your visit and saving your money to spend on a planetarium show instead.
Photo ExhibitionVisitors who buy tickets to see a projection or tour of the building are welcome to explore the photo exhibition in the entrance area. It features images of the projection room with detailed descriptions of how the state-of-the-art projection technology in L'Hemisfèric works, as well as photos taken throughout the building’s construction process. If you have some spare time before your film begins, they’re really interesting to look at and imagine how difficult it was to create these beautiful glass structures surrounded by water.
TriviaDue to the building’s unique shape, if you and a friend stand by opposite pillars inside of the “eye”, you can speak to each other using its echo properties!
The outer ring of the building is named after Carl Sagan , an American astronomer who helped make science popular around the world.
The lamp used to project IMAX films and planetarium shows gets really hot - 12,000 ºC, in fact.
You can see the entire solar system at L'Hemisfèric! It has a digital astronomical simulator which allows visitors to explore distant galaxies throughout the universe due to its extensive database created by professional astronomers.
How to Get There
- Address: Avinguda del Professor López Piñero, 3, 46013 Valencia, Spain
- By bus: You can reach L'Hemisfèric using the EMT, Valencia’s urban bus system. The 19, 35, 40, and 95 bus lines all go to the City of Arts and Sciences.
- By metro: Metrovalencia lines 3 and 5 are the closest metro lines to the City of Arts and Sciences. The nearest stop is Alameda, which is an approximately 15-minute walk.
HoursL'Hemisfèric’s ticket office opens daily at 10:00 a.m, with its first projection starting at 11:00 a.m and its final showing at 20:00 p.m.
ParkingParking is available in the underground lot beneath L’Umbracle's landscaped walk between 8:00 a.m. and 00:30 a.m. daily. It costs approximately € €2 ($2.30) per hour, at a maximum of € €24 ($28) per day.
PricesAdmission costs between € €6 ($6.90) and €9 EIR per person, with various discounts available for children, students, seniors, large families, and groups. If you plan to visit other areas of the City of Arts and Sciences such as the science museum or the aquarium, the most affordable ticket option is to buy a combined ticket.
ServicesL'Hemisfèric has a shop featuring astronomy-themed souvenirs as well as products related to the films and projections currently being shown. It also has a cafeteria-restaurant that opens each day at 10:00 a.m. if you want to stop and grab a bite to eat. If you have any questions about L'Hemisfèric or the rest of the City of Arts and Sciences, you can also stop by one of the information points to pick up an informational leaflet or talk with an employee.
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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Feb 27, 2015