The oldest works of architecture
in Spain of which rests are left go back to the megalythical
culture, approximately 3000 b.C. Anyhow, they are
probably not exactly what you expect to find here.
Lots of Roman monuments are conserved too , among
the most important being the great aquaeduct of Segovia
and the amphitheater of Mérida.
Absolutely stunning is what Moors have left in this country. The Great Mosque
of Cordoba is one of the most visited sights by tourists,
the other of course being Granada's Alhambra which is perfectly
conserved in its original condition.
The Spanish Moors
created a style of their own that differs in many
aspects from their traditional architecture which
you may find in Africa and introduced several novelties.This
style is called Caliphal style. The Christians who
lived in Muslim territory were called Mozarabes, and
so is called their particular architectonical style
which combines Visigothic construction technics and
caliphal style . After the country was reconquered
from the Muslims, Moorish architects who stayed developed
another new style combining their traditional architecture
with Romanesque and Gothic elements, the Mudejar style.
While most of Spain was occupied by the Moors, there existed still Visigoth kingdoms in the country's north. There you can find important monuments of Visigoth and Romanesque styles , of the latter in particular along the "Camino de Santiago". In 12th century Gothic style was introduced in Spain , arriving to its greatest importance during 13th century when the cathedrals of Burgos , Toledo and Leon were built. Gothic in Spain combines frequently with Mudejar-elements.
is the Spanish variation of Renaissance style. The
word comes from "plata", silver, indicating that it
is much richer in ornamentation than for instance
Italian Renaissance style . One of the most representative
monuments is the University of Salamanca .
Baroque in Spain falls together with the country's
perhaps most glorious epoch. Two opposite approaches
may be observed: the works of Juan Herrera are remarkably
austere (e.g. Monastery "El Escorial" , close to Madrid)
while Churriguera used extremely rich ornamentation.
In Galicia exists another variation of baroque style,
the so-called Baroco Compostelano , with Santiago
de Compostela as its center. In Modernism Spain played
again a highly important role. Most outstanding are
perhaps the works of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, as
his great cathedral "Sagrada Familia" . Until today
Barcelona in particular has remained a center of modern
and even futuristical architecture.