Turia (You cannot step into the same river twice)

Changes in the physiognomy of the rivers in Spain have been vertiginous over the last one hundred years, due to new industrial and demographic necessities, and favored by political interests, which have promoted architectural projects as a symbol of power and progress.

In the Turia river, some of these changes have been extraordinary and have converted the river, from its source to its mouth, into a protagonist and witness of the political models, economical changes, and social development, occurred in the contemporary history of the region.

Located in the east of the Iberian Peninsula, the Turia river springs in the mountain ranges and flows across a rural environment throughout towns and villages. Downstream, there are two big reservoirs-fetish construction that characterized Franco’s dictatorship. In the 60’s, the course of the Turia was diverted, leaving Valencia, the Turia’s capital, without its river.

Nowadays, a zoo, football pitches, an opera theater, and the biggest aquarium of Europe, join together without complexes over the former course crossing the city to end in La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, an architectural complex with futuristic aesthetics and pharaonic dimensions that completes the extraordinary metamorphosis of the landscape.

Because of its features, the Turia river becomes a space of reflection and summarizes, like no other, the idiosyncrasy of the nation, reflecting success, failures, dreams, complexities, miseries and richness. Here, the political power has determined the contemporary concept of progress and the river is presented not only as a metaphor but also as evidence of constant change; a strange condition that invites the people to assume a blurred past, a disconcerting present and an uncertain future.