The Architecture of Spain

History of Architecture of Spain

Spain has the most architectural diversity in Europe due to its history. The Moors conquered Spain in 711 and had a very strong influence on Spanish architecture. Their influence was to make architecture more decorative. Gothic architecture in Spain was more decorative than Gothic architecture in other European countries because many of Murray’s features were added. This also happened in Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Even today it is exerting its influence in many modern buildings.

Ancient History

The ancient history of Spain is remarkable. From Majlis tombs built in the Stone Age to early Celtic settlements on the hills to theaters surviving the Roman conquest.

Burial domes in Menorca and Mallorca look like overturned boats. They date back to about 1200 BC and were the site of ancient public burials.

Castro de Baroña is a castle surrounded by Celts. There are still 20 roundhouses from a self-sufficient community.

In the city of Merida is a Roman theater built in the last years of BC. The stalls are surrounded by a stage filled with marble columns and statues. The theater is still in use today and hosts the Merida Festival.

Mosques and cathedrals

Spain’s attachment to Islam led to the construction of mosques. The Great Mosque of Cordoba adopted the horseshoe shape of the Visigoths. The mosque of Seville had a high minaret, which was moved to La Giralda.

Other Islamic details such as multi-petaled arches and lace stucco decorate the palaces.

Spanish churches feature Roman and Gothic elements. Large stone walls and huge, repeating arches attest to great grandeur. Burgos Cathedral has Gothic minarets and square windows.


The Mudéjar style is a combination of different styles of Spanish architecture. As we see today in the interior design in Barcelona. It uses Moorish patterns and flourishes and mixes them with Christian building techniques.

Geometric themes shine through the building materials available. Brick, tile, carved wood and plaster formed the basis for palaces and cathedrals.

Renaissance and Baroque

As Italy began to influence Spanish architects, styles changed to Renaissance and Baroque.

The Renaissance Palace of Charles V is beautiful in both its lower and upper parts. Its large courtyard has a round column.

The Cathedral of Santiago is a dramatic Baroque building with an ornate facade. The unique baroque style of the Spanish Krugersk was a joy to decorate.

Modernisme and beyond

In the nineteenth century, the development of interior design in Barcelona led to modernism. Paying homage to the history of Catalonia, Modernisme focused on asymmetry, curves, and organic elements.

In the 1920s, modernist architecture found its way to Spain. The stand at the Barcelona World’s Fair is a modern symbol. It has clean lines, distinct details, and an exaggerated roof.

Old meets new in Spanish architecture

Spanish history adds a special dimension to Spanish architecture. It is dense and interesting, ranging from the early days to modernity and respecting everything in between.

Spain is home to some of the most breathtaking architecture in Europe, known throughout the world for its distinctive form and famous monuments. With influences ranging from Roman to Moorish, you’ll find that each city has a unique architectural style. From the classical architecture of Andalusia in Seville and Cordoba to the Moorish Granada style, the intricate Baroque and Renaissance details in Salamanca, and a combination of Gothic and Modernism in Barcelona. Here are five Spanish cities that will transport you to their beautiful architecture.


Seville, a medieval city, is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the country, mainly because of its impressive architecture. Think small alleys with white buildings, cobbled streets with intricate wrought-iron balconies, and charming boulevards with orange and lemon-colored mansions. Begin your architectural tour in the old Jewish neighborhood of Barrio de Santa Cruz along the Guadalquivir River and cross the bridge to the old gypsy quarter in Triana, known for its ceramic and tile workshops. Some of Seville’s landmarks include La Giralda, a Gothic cathedral with an Islamic minaret. The Plaza de España, laid out for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition, with its intricate towers and small pavilions. The real murderer’s palace Alcazar and the bullring Plaza de Toros, one of the oldest bullrings in Spain, dating back to 1765.


Of course, Barcelona is world-famous for its architecture, especially the works of Anthony Gaud. Like the Casa Batllo, the Peacock, the undulating Lapdra, and the inspiring Sagrada Familia. However, the city’s architectural wonders are not limited to Gaud’s works – at every turn, you’ll see impressive Gothic churches, grand plazas surrounded by intricate views, and of course ornate modernist buildings full of mosaics and floral motifs. One of the best streets for architecture is the famous Passeig de Gràcia, which is dotted with many stunning buildings. 

There are only three parallel streets of Carrer Enric Granados with exquisite buildings suitable for the nobility, and in the small neighborhoods of Gràcia, El Born, and Sant Andreu you will find different styles, with narrow streets and quiet squares.


Granada’s most famous structure is, of course, the UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Al-Hamra Palace, the castle, and the ornate Moriani Castle towering over the city. Almost anywhere in Granada, you can see the Alhambra, a reminder of the city’s glorious past. But the lower center and hillsides are also full of attractive architectural structures that are equally impressive in their own way. Climb the cobbled streets of the Moorish neighborhood of Albicein and you’ll see beautiful white buildings at the foot of the hill. Go further and you will find the gypsy neighborhood of Sacromonte, where many people still live in unique cave houses carved into the rocks.


Salamanca is a combination of Baroque, Renaissance, and Platterzeque architectural styles and one of the most attractive cities in Spain. The old town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the heart of the University of Salamanca. A monument and a symbol of the city is more than an educational institution. The carved Platterzak facade of the university is very spectacular. Legend has it that a frog hiding on the facade will bring you good luck. Another spectacular sight in Salamanca is the Plaza Mayor, the largest public square in the country, built in the beautiful 18th-century Spanish Baroque style. On the north side is the City Hall with golden arches and royal medals.


It’s impossible not to fall in love with Cordoba, with its classic Andalusian style of whitewashed houses with exotic balconies and cozy courtyards. What makes this city worthy of our list, however, is the combination of these elements with the Mudéjar termite style, most evident in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Mezquita, a mosque and cathedral in one. With an integrated blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque Christian architecture with Moorish Islamic styles, you have to look closely to truly appreciate its magnificent size and beauty. Another important architectural landmark is the Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos, a spectacular Gothic castle with Moorish gardens and Arab baths.