The building, designed by Santiago Calatrava and named in honor of the queen, is meant to raise the city's profile by giving it a landmark in the style of the Sydney Opera House or the Bilbao Guggenheim.
Calatrava's design is described variously as looking like a helmet, an eye, and a boat. It is built from concrete and steel and covered with gleaming, crushed tiles. Its four performance spaces include a 1,700-seat concert hall, and holds 4,000 seats in all.
Government officials say that the Reina Sofia Palace of the Arts cost $303 million, although leaders of the opposition figure say it was more like $442 million.
According to the London Guardian, Lorin Maazel will serve as the Palau de les Arts artistic director for its first three seasons, and Zubin Mehta has been tapped to lead an annual music festival.