You cannot avoid it in Valencia, or you have to walk 10 kilometres around it: the Turia in Valencia. A more than 10 kilometres long park which runs through the entire city and therefore is also called ‘the green lung of Valencia city’. This unique park exists already 35 years this year and the city council will not let this go unnoticed. The whole month of June, there are several events and activities in the park to celebrate this special anniversary.
The Turia river
It is not surprising that Turia Park winds through the city like a long meander, as it used to be a river. This river has been diverted, because it caused continuous flooding. In 1957, after three days of continuous rain, the river overflowed its banks and the water rose to 5 metres in some places. A major disaster, in which dozens of people lost their lives. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and made the municipality decide to divert the river.
The actual river now runs south of Valencia city and a beautiful park has been created along the bed of the old river. Every day it is a lively place where people walk, run, cycle, dance, relax and so on. All this between palm trees, orange trees, pine trees and flowers. You will find sports clubs, playgrounds, including Gulliver’s park (a must for children) and to top it all off, some of Valencia’s most distinctive buildings, such as the City of Arts and Sciences (the “modern white buildings”).
The Turia in Valencia as a highway
Things could almost have been very different for the Turia in Valencia. Over 35 years ago, there were plans to build a network of highways in the area of the drained river. Citizens revolted against these plans, which eventually led to the creation of this beautiful park. Just walk or cycle through the park to see how many people are still happy about it every day!
35 years of Turia Park - what's on?
June 2022 is the official celebration month of the park, as 5 June 1987 was the first day the park was opened to the public (at that time only the Campanar and Nou Moles area up to the Palau de la Música). The programme includes open-air concerts, exhibitions and the publication of the comic book “Túria còmic”, of which 10,000 copies will be published and distributed to the public. Also, a special map of the Turia park has been issued.
Turia park not yet finished
If you have ever cycled or walked through the Turia park towards the sea, you will probably have noticed that the park ends abruptly at a certain point. Fortunately, work is being done on this: there are plans to extend the park all the way to Nazaret (towards the port of Valencia) until it reaches the Albufera nature park.
The city council recently launched a competition for ideas for the Desembocadura park project, between the City of Arts and Sciences and the port. This project consists of two phases. The first will be carried out with certainty, that is, the construction of the section running from the Astilleros Bridge to the port. The second is still uncertain because it depends on the development of the El Grau neighbourhood and the extension of the Serrería tunnel, which will eliminate the railway bridge. These two projects are not on the schedule at the moment.
Facts and figures about Turia Park
Did you know… …the Turia has a surface of 123 hectares, which makes it one fifth of the green areas in Valencia. …The length of the park is now 10 kilometres and will continue to grow. …There are a total of 18 bridges scattered throughout the Turia garden. Five of them are protected because of their historical value. …There are 20 sculptures by different authors scattered around the park, especially near the City of Sciences. …There are 29 security cameras and five SOS poles from the bus station to the Oceanogràfic. …17 people, including officers and commanders, work at the local police checkpoint in Cabecera Park. …there is a maintenance budget of €8 million per year for the green areas and Gulliver Park. …92 workers, not including office staff, are responsible for the maintenance of the Turia. …there are 8,000 metres of pipes of the drinking water network in the riverbed. This is for the 60 drinking water fountains that can be found in the park. …there are 10,000 metres of low-pressure water pipes for irrigation and flushing in the garden. This water is supplied by 10 wells, totalling some 16 million cubic metres per year. …there are 5 football pitches, a rugby field, a baseball field and an athletics track in the park. No fewer than 27 clubs use them, mainly athletics and football. …there are also a number of open-air sports parks with fitness equipment that is used throughout the day by young and old alike. …there is a metro station in the middle of the Turia (Alameda), designed by the famous architect Calatrava, which takes you to the centre of the city within 5 minutes. …there are several dog parks where the dogs can romp around freely.