Spain: Of Shapes and Spaces

By Nicole Ow Yeong

Located Southwest of Europe and to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain is one of the most popular and sought after tourist locations in Europe.

From castle to cathedrals, palaces to parks, mountains to sea beaches, Spain has much to offer to the tourists. And one thing stands out in particular: the architecture in Spain is well-known worldwide for its marvelous art and architectural excellence as well as occupying a place of significance in world history. Some of the famous ancient master art pieces of Spain’s architecture is still alive distinguishing Spain’s architecture from the rest of Europe.

In the different cities of Spain, there are magnificent buildings and magnificent structures, which currently are major tourist sites. Some of the magnificent structures include the astonishing Barcelona Pavilion, Casa Mila, Palace of Charles V, San Miguel and Seville Cathedral. These architectures have not only exquisite beauty but they also reflect elegance and grace.


Some of the architecture of Spain display Moorish touch together with Roman art. The two most popular and majestic architectures are The Great Mosque and Alhambra.

The Alhambra is a walled town with a fortress, palace, and gardens that were built by the Moors. Construction of the fortress, the Alcazaba, began in the 800s, but was not completed until 400 years later. It has 27 towers, the tallest of which is called Torre de la Vela, or Tower of the Candle.

The palace, known as the Palacios Nazaries, was built for Moorish kings in the 1200s and 1300s. It is decorated with stone columns, pretty mosaics made from ceramic tiles, and beautifully carved stucco ceilings, archways, and domes. The carvings are so delicate that they look like lace from a distance. Many fountains and pools cool the palace´s patios, inner courtyards and gardens.


Among the modern structures reflecting contemporary art, the cathedral of Sagrada Familia poses a captivating appearance. The Bilbao Museum is also an excellent example of Spanish architecture.

About 1,000 years ago, Christians in Spain began to fight the Moors for control of the country. Both sides built hundreds of castles to protect their towns from attack. Many are in the province of Castilla-León, in northern Spain. This province takes its name from the Spanish words for castle, castillo and lion, leon. The Castillo de Coca lies about 30 miles (45 kilometers) north of Segovia. A moat surrounding the castle helped keep intruders away from the stonewalls and towers.


La Mota is a castle near the town of Valladolid. It was built by the Moors about 800 years ago. Large walls surrounding the castle kept intruders out, and a towering prison kept prisoners in. After conquering the Moors, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella moved into the castle and expanded it. In modern times, Spaniards used La Mota as a state prison before it became a military museum.


There are many other buildings in Spain that reveal Gothic styles of art and architecture. Antoni Gaudi and Santiago Calatrava are two of the renowned architects in Spain who have made many fabulous creations depicting the Architecture of Spain.

Besides in Barcelona, one can spot some amazing architectural works of Spain in Ciudadela and Palma. The former features stunning buildings like the Palacio Salort, Esglesia dels Socors, Palacio de Sant Sabatia, and Bastio de Sa Font. The latter city comprises of such admirable architectural structures as the Almudaina Palace, La Lonja, Arab Baths, and Castell De Belver.


Later, modern architects in Spain experimented with a variety of materials in their work, including glass, concrete, and wrought iron. Elegant brick designs, as well as colorful ceramic ornaments and stained glass windows, decorate their buildings now.

Next time when you visit Spain, make sure that at least few of the architectural buildings are there on your travel list.

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