Portal:Architecture of Spain

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Introduction

Plaza de España, Seville.

Spanish architecture refers to architecture carried out in any area in what is now Spain, and by worldwide. The term includes buildings within the current geographical limits of Spain before this name was given to those territories (whether they were called Iberia, Hispania, Al-Andalus or were formed of several Christian kingdoms). Due to its historical and geographical diversity, Spanish architecture has drawn from a host of influences. Iberian architecture started to take shape in parallel with other architectures around the Mediterranean and others from Northern Europe.

A real development came with the arrival of the Romans, who left behind some of their most outstanding monuments in Hispania. The arrival of the Visigoths brought about a profound decline in building techniques which was paralleled in the rest of the former Empire. The Moorish conquest in 711 CE lead to a radical change and for the following eight centuries there were great advances in culture, including architecture. For example, Córdoba was established as the cultural capital of its time under the Muslim Umayyad dynasty. Simultaneously, the Christian kingdoms gradually emerged and developed their own styles, at first mostly isolated from European architectural influences, and later integrated into Romanesque and Gothic streams, they reached an extraordinary peak with numerous samples along the whole territory. The Mudéjar style, from the 12th to 17th centuries, was characterised by the blending of cultural European and Arabic influences.

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