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Spanish Architecture: types and characteristics

spanish architecture
Written by Dhrubajyoti Roy

Spanish Architecture

From football to royal wines Spain stands out for many things, it is one of amazing place of art where people with beautiful eyes and paintings with beautiful colors live by, the country is widely popular for the tourism and the art which spread over the country, with lots of colors, decorations being used along with beautiful flowers surrounded and greenery placed perfectly it is a country of wonders and magic.

Meanwhile, Spain is also a very important point of architecture from the mighty roman empire to making the modernism alive Spain did a lot of contribution by making architecture to mingle as a part of our day to day life, let’s explore the secrets and the essence of Spanish architecture in its own way.

  1. Ancient Spanish architecture

2. Romanesque architecture

3. Spanish gothic architecture

4. Mudejar style

5. Neo classical architecture

6. Baroque and renaissance architecture

Ancient Spanish Architecture:

If you ever get stuck to decode the proverb “ Rome can’t be built in a day”, then say thanks to Spanish as being one major part of the roman empire, Rome is famous for their art and the architecture which they presented to the world, the wider architecture made it to form the proverb later.

We all have heard the history of Rome and it is one of an ancient civilization along with the Indians and Africans, but where Rome stands out is for its artwork, but unfortunately, most of the ancient architecture are not standing today but only in photographs and in theories to read and to get amused.

Celtic was one of the earliest architecture we can find in Spain, the Castros in Galicia stand as proof of their ancient architecture styles.

spanish architecture

Romanesque Architecture:

Romanesque is one of oldest architectural style not only for Spain but to the entire world out there, it is believed that the Romanesque architecture begun in the 6th century and the thing is it still stands today, though it is a religious architecture even today some classic architectures influence its style to build churches somewhere in the countrysides.

Semicircular arches were commonly used for windows and doors, and groin vaults were placed to stand along with the roof and also to add a bit of classic style to the buildings, thick walls and lack of sculptures were the core characteristics of the Romanesque architecture, the 10th-century architecture is one of those fancy kind we can find in a game of thrones.

Basilica de San Isidoro in Leon is one fine example for the Romanesque architecture in the Spain region, the thousand-year-old building is more of a museum to adore the Romanesque architecture today, the classical roman architecture is being influenced by architectures and architects even today.

St Maria Capitol, Romanesque Church

spanish architecture

Spanish Gothic Architecture:

Gothic architecture spread to various parts of the world like wildfire in summer, it created a great impact in the book of Spanish architecture too, from using the rib vaults to pointed arches and flying buttresses gothic architecture stands out from all of its fellow architecture styles, the arrival of Gothic architecture replaced most of the Romanesque buildings by replacing the semi-circular arches to pointed arches.

The glass also used as a major element in the gothic architecture which made the structures look stylish and created a uniformity.

Burgos cathedral is a fine Gothic building, the tall tower made it look a bit odd but beautiful, it represents point arches (one of the core elements of gothic architecture) and lighter walls with cross ribbed vaults it is a glory which never fades even by time.

Mudejar Architecture:

It is one of rarest architecture we can witness in the world of architecture itself, at the early 12th century the Mudejar architecture and the art developed for the political social and cultural reasons, at the riverbank of Ebro river the fine art developed into something of big and better day by day, Christianity, Islam, and even Jews are influenced by the architecture.

Meanwhile, it is history that architecture being influenced by more than one religion at a time and all the glory goes to the architecture of the time who created it, even being one of ancient architecture style they used bricks as a core element in the architecture, the mixture of three various religions and culture made it fabulous one.

Decorations were highly encouraged in the Mudejar architecture and that’s how it became one of the famous architecture styles in the mid-European countries, the art culture created from the Aragonese soil ended in the Spanish country.

spanish architecture

Neo classical Architecture:

Neoclassical is a bit new to the architecture world as it became one of revolutionary architecture in the European country at the end of 18th century, neo classism is one of few most popular architectural style in the entire world, the architecture adapted by many countries but it rooted from Italy and France and then settled in Spain.

When entire Europe is satisfied with their Romanesque, gothic and Greek architecture styles for its simplicity and usage of every perfect element being used till neo classism showed what grandeur architecture is, the fine geometry form with very simple structure made a great impact to the European peoples.

Usage of columns in a dramatic way and blank walls are mostly preferred in the neoclassical architecture, flat roofs and large columns with gardens around the building are some of the core characteristics of neoclassical architecture.

At the busy and enchanting city of Madrid in Spain with entirely large-sized columns and white in color, there stands the fine neoclassical architecture of royal observatory of Madrid, it been two hundred years since the construction built and still it keeps its glory and all the details without fading.

Baroque Architecture:

Baroque architecture is another religious architecture which acted as a revolutionary purpose of making people attracted towards the catholic and to believe in Christianity more than any other religions at the time, the 17th-century architecture is a highly fancy one with a lot of decorations and usage of lights with bright colors made it look royal and fancy at the same time.

It is an another European recognized to the world but created a great impact in the Spanish region too, calm, rational and geometric is the core characteristics of the baroque architecture, the purpose of making people believe in catholic acted as a revolutionary one and more people adapted by the baroque architecture and then it spread to the world later.

Today we can witness many catholic churches around the world with baroque architecture style and its fine elements used, the curving form and oval shapes are commonly recognized as one in the baroque architecture.

Even palaces are built with the influence of baroque architecture style for its fancy design and royal structure components, though it began as a religious architecture it lately considered one of the most beautiful architectures in the entire world.

Santiago de Compostela cathedral-  this world heritage site is a giant architectural building located at the Galicia in Spain, the cathedral is a great identity of baroque architecture style to witness today, with large towers and highly decorations in the exterior and interior it is a magical castle but ruled by Christ inside.

The royal palace of Aranjuez is an another fine baroque architecture building which is a royal Spanish residence in the town of Aranjuez, with giant towers and decorated domes at the top and gardens surrounded by, it is really a magical castle to be witnessed by.

Renaissance Architecture:

Renaissance architecture is another architecture origin from the red carpet of Europe, by combining features from the classic Greek and Roman architecture it emerged as something of beauty to experienced by, the 14th-century architecture is defined by the perfect symmetry, proportion, and geometry.

Though it emerged from the wonderful city of Florence and then passed to the various country by time, the usage of columns, arches, vaults with domes, and high ceiling is the characteristic of renaissance architecture style.

The decorations in doors, walls, and windows with details given first priority in the construction of renaissance architecture, it is more of the architecture of time which represents from 14thto  16th centuries.

Palace of Guzmanes is a proof of renaissance architecture in the Spanish country, being built in the 16th century three story building is a heaven to explore in the entire Spain, the tall palace have all the fine elements of renaissance architecture placed at one place.

Conclusion:

Spain is a country of art and people with stylish and classical tastes, though Spain is famous for many things from football to bull race, it is a country of architecture too and few of the most amazing architecture styles of the world emerged from the Spanish country and its surrounding, Spain is famous for its tourism just because it contains all the amazing architecture buildings in the world.

From baroque to neo classism Spain witnessed many fine architectures of the world and finally ended with not one but everything, it is a beautiful colloidal formation of architecture and a treasure to explore at.

About the author

Dhrubajyoti Roy

I am a 5th-year student pursuing a bachelor's course in Architecture. I partake in freelancing work in the field of Architecture range from buildings in Autocad to 3D Rendering and work through in Lumion.

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