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VALENCIA: The Turia River

The old Turia river bed is truly a jewel of Valencia. It runs right through the central axis of the city, making it a 9 km stretch of a green belt surrounded by ancient walls and buildings.  In truth, it is not a masterpiece of landscape design, but it does gives you a sense of the spirit of Valencia.

The city of Valencia grew up on Turia from an early Roman settlement. The river was prone to floods and after a catastrophic flood in 1957 which devastated the city of Valencia, the river was divided in two at the western city limits.

The water was diverted southwards along a new course that skirts the city, before meeting the Mediterranean. 

The old course of the river still continues although dry - through the city centre, almost to the sea.

Today, the old riverbed is now a sunken park and with intermittent gardens that allows cyclists and pedestrians to travel much of the city without the use of roads. In fact, by following the river bed you can find some of Valencia's best museums, gardens and architectural buildings which are on the river banks. 

However, the walk can get a bit boring as the landscaping is sporadic and only on occasion a decent standard. Make a point to avoid walking in the cycle paths and try not to get knocked over by groups of running/shuffling pensioners.

Be aware that if you are using the river to visit these attractions it can be hard work walking in the heat of the day - even more so during the summer. 

Make sure that you are dressed appropriately and take plenty of water with you, because there aren't as many opportunities to buy drinks down in the river bed as you would think.

The park, called the 'Garden of the Turia' boasts numerous ponds, paths, fountains, and landscaped gardens.

You can also find football pitches, caf├ęs, artworks, climbing walls, and an athletics track.

However, the government went further and developed the riverbed into an entire world of leisure and culture. So over time, the riverbed became the area for new cultural projects.

The Palau de la Musica now has its own section of the garden, while the City of Arts and Sciences sits right in the river bed. The space between Bridge de las Flores and the Calatrave (Exposicion) Bridge is often used as a venue for fairs, festivals or circus's.

For related articles click onto:
VALENCIA: The Lonja de la Seda
VALENCIA: The Turia River
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