L’Oceanogràfic or El Oceanográfico in Spanish is part of the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia but deserves special mention on its own. The giant and spectacular oceanarium of the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias) of Valencia, Spain. It is home to a great number of different habitats and marine animals including mammals, reptiles, and birds as well as fish.
The Oceanographic is the largest oceanarium in Europe, spanning over 110,000 square meters (1,200,000 sq feet) and holding a capacity of 42,000,000 liters (11,000,000 gallons) of water, including a 26,000,000-litre (6,900,000 gallons) dolphin enclosure and a 7,000,000-litre (1,800,000 US gal) ocean tank with all sorts of sharks, rays and other fish. The Oceanographic houses over 45 thousand animals and over 500 different species — including penguins, dolphins, sharks, sea lions, beluga whales, walruses, reptiles birds, and all sorts of invertebrates.
There are nine underwater towers (which are themselves divided into two levels) representing the Earth’s major ecosystems. The seawater that the aquarium uses is pumped directly from the nearby Malva-Rosa beach.
L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia
The city of Arts and Sciences is a vast complex dedicated to the preservation and propagation of the arts and sciences. This complex was designed by two of Spain’s top architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela and is considered to be an architectural masterpiece. The l’Oceanogràfic specifically is the brainchild of Candela and is considered to be the centerpiece of the complex.
The Oceanographic is divided into ten different enclosures or exhibits: the marine areas are arranged into the Arctic oceans habitats, Mediterranean sea habitats, islands, the tropics, the temperate seas, and the Red Sea. Then there is the dolphinarium which also offers dolphin shows, an area of mangrove swamps and marshland that houses some bird and reptile species as well, and a garden with more than 80 different species of plants, a vast majority of which are found in Valencia. Management of the center is currently a joint effort between local management and the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Oceanographic also features an impressive restaurant that will give you the chance to enjoy your meal “underwater” while admiring the many creatures housed in the center.