We present you the BEST DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE: SPANISH ARCHITECTURE, A CONTRAST existing in this country. Spain is home to an unrivalled architectural wealth, varying greatly from to region to region, thanks to the country’s many historical influences. It came under Roman rule in 200 BCE before Spain was conquered by Germanic tribes in the Middle Ages. Finally the Moors settled in the south in the 8th century up until the Spanish reconquest in 1492, evidence of which visitors can observe in buildings across the country. However, there are certain locations in Spain which particularly stand out for their beautiful and unique architecture which are Seville in Andalusia and Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia.
Seville was taken by the Moors back in 712, evidence of which can be observed across the city. The Moorish influences consist of decorative herbage and small fountains gracing the courtyards of houses there. However, more concrete examples of Moorish urban influences are present in some of the buildings in Seville, displaying the Mudéjar style of Islamic art. This unique architectural style resulted from Muslim and Christian cultures living side by side and typically features ornamental metals, wood carving, plaster carving, and elaborate brickwork and tilework. The Real Alcázar de Sevilla (Royal Alcázar of Seville), as well as the bell tower of Seville Cathedral, the Giralda and the city walls all comprise prime examples of buildings built in the Mudéjar style.
Further buildings of architectural interest in Seville include the Cathedral of St. Mary, a medieval and Gothic cathedral, the Palace of San Telmo, the Royal Tobacco Factory (Baroque style), the Torre de Oro watchtower, the 19th century Neoclassical style City Hall and Plaza de España located in stunning Maria Luisa Park which comprises an outstanding example of Regional Revival architecture.
Finally, a recent contribution to the Seville cityscape is the Metropol Parasol, designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Herman. It is located on La Encarnación Square in the Old Quarter and is properly known as Las Setas de la Encarnación (Encarnación’s Mushrooms). This is owing to the huge wooden structure, dubbed the world’s largest, which consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms.
It features four levels with the first level housing the Antiquarium which consists of a museum displaying Roman and Moorish remains discovered there. Level 1 is the Central Market whilst the remaining levels feature an open-air public plaza and panoramic terraces. The Metropol Parasol was completed in 2011 following difficulties with the structure, declared to be technically infeasible. Relying heavily on government funding and lottery proceeds, the total cost of the Metropol Parasol’s construction amounted to approximately 100 million euros.
In contrast, Barcelona has been dubbed the world capital of modernisme thanks to Gaudí’s legacy and that of other famous Catalan architects who have greatly influenced the face of this beautiful city. Catalan Modernisme (art nouveau) is typically characterised by elaborate decoration and detail and a predominance of curves over straight lines, as well as the use of vegetal combined with other organic motifs, amongst others.
The earliest example of Catalan modernisme comprises the Castell dels Tres Dragons (Castle of the Three Dragons) designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in 1888. This great architect also created the Palau de la Musica Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music), a stunning concert hall located in the popular La Ribera district.
However, despite his wonderful contributions Antoni Gaudí remains the best known architecture of this unique movement. Amongst his greatest masterpieces feature beautiful Park Güell, Casa Batlló, la Pedrera (Casa Milà), and the stunning Sagrada Familia Basilica, consecrated by the Pope back in 2010. It is predicted that this prime example of modernisme and Gothic architecture will be completed in the year 2025, the 100th anniversary of the death of Gaudí.
Further examples of this great architect’s work can be found right across the city and range from palatial residents, beautiful houses and hospitals down to humbler contributions including benches, chemists’ shops and lampposts all boasting the striking features characterising this modernisme master’s works. A Modernisme Route, providing a comprehensive tour of the greatest modernisme masterpieces, is on offer to visitors and locals alike in Barcelona.
Guest Post by Maria Allen, author of http://luxuryseekersonline.com/