Architecture…. Hola Spain!


Jake’s Sunday Post theme, architecture, made me think of all the different and varied styles of buildings I’ve seen on my travels. I could of course do a real hotchpotch of  a post, and show you examples from many countries around the world, but I decided to limit my photos to Spain, a country renowned for its art and architectural excellence. Spanish architecture is an exotic mix of early Moorish influences and surreal modernism.

Talking of surrealism, one cannot visit Barcelona without marvelling at the astounding imagination and genius of Antoni Gaudi. Here is the Casa Mila, better known as La Pedrera, meaning ‘The Quarry’. It caused quite a sensation when it was being built,  because of the bold form of its undulating stone facade and the wrought iron decoration of the balconies and windows,

This is one of the sculptures on the roof of the Casa Mila.

and this huge mirror cleverly reflects another part of the roof.

The design of the beautiful windows of the Casa Batllo, is astonishing. This house was nicknamed ‘The House of Bones’ because the balconies at the lower floors, have bone-like pillars, and those on the upper floors look like pieces of skulls.

Surely his absolute masterpiece though, has to be La Sagrada Familia, ‘la cathédrale des anges’, which was started in 1882, and when we were there in 2004, was still not completed. This is the original old part.

and here is the newer construction. Which do you prefer?

The Royal Palace in Madrid, is the official residence of the Spanish royal family, although now it’s only used for State ceremonies.

The palace has 135,000 square metres of floorspace and contains 3418 rooms, making it the largest in Europe. The interior design and decor and was just breathtaking. Just take a look at all those chandeliers!

I could just imagine myself sweeping down this magnificent staircase, not in my jeans and t-shirt, but in a sumptuous, bejeweled ball gown, and with a diamond encrusted coronet on my head. 🙂

Of course, Granada is famous for its absolutely stunning Alhambra Palace. I posted some pics of the gardens yesterday for the green theme..

It was so delightful to walk around this beautiful place.

Some of the detail was really exquisite,

and around every corner, there was something new to admire.

In Cordoba, we visited the Mezquita, the Great Mosque-Cathedral, which was begun in 600 AD, and is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Islamic architecture. When I walked into this vast hypostyle hall, I was absolutely dumbfounded.

I felt so tiny as I gazed up at those 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite.

The richly gilded decoration of the cathedral in its centre, defies description, so here’s a photo instead. 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at some of the architecture I saw on my trip. To see more interpretations of Jake’s theme. just click here.

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126 comments on “Architecture…. Hola Spain!

  1. Pingback: #192: Blog of the Year/Featured Blogs Highlights/Ventura, California « The Sophomore Slump

  2. These are truly awesome. I don’t know how many countries you’ve been to, but every week I find myself amazed by your travels and all the pictures. I find myself looking at my blank passport and hoping to fill it some day. I’m loving the La Sagrada Familia picture and I totally love the original. Plus that fountain one is pretty cool too. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, TG. I have no idea how many countries I’ve been to, but I’ve done two round the world trips, which were amazing. I still have to go to Russia, and I’m not sure where else is on my bucket list. 🙂

  3. Just catching up with your posts AD after a really busy week. These photos absolutely blew me away. I had never really any desire to see Spain and now I so want to go there -definitely on my bucket list now!

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  5. I feel like I’m on a field trip whenever I visit your blog! That was yet another amazing virtual tour!!
    I wonder where are you going to take us next? 😉

  6. Stunning scenes. That mirror is amazing. Pity the birds … uh, cranes … got in the way of some of it. D’you know, I think I prefer the older, more complicated lines on those towers.

  7. I am hugely astounded by this amazing, wondrous structures! I particularly like the Great Mosque. But seriously, AWEsome set of larger than life images. I so envy for all these. And how I wished I had known your blog way back when I was in Spain.

  8. Pingback: Sunday post – Architecture from Spain | travels with toby

  9. ah….thanks for that trip down memory lane. Te echo de menos España….

    and what a great idea you had to do photos from Spain. I have very similar photos so I won’t repeat. I likely won’t get around to the Sunday post anyway as I’m busy with Thanksgiving this week. but I could do a different set of photos…let’s see if I can squeeze it in 🙂 and now I’m done with lunch so it’s back to work for me. Fabulous photos!! Thanks for sharing them.

      • I will try! I could have sworn that I followed your blog before but when I went to view this entry I saw it was unchecked? or maybe I never clicked it? anyhoo, thanks for the follow!! and now you’ve given me some incentive to create a Sunday post 😉

  10. Absolutely made my day 😉
    And I absolutely LOVE the old part of that cathedral – the new building does not have a quarter of the character!!
    Beautiful Pics AD 😉
    And, since I have a few pics of exotic architecture, maybe I can participate too – then again, I’m lazy, so maybe not 😉

    • I so agree with you about the old and new parts. I don’t think that Gaudi would be overly impressed. It’s about time you did one of these challenges. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Sunday Post : Architecture « restlessjo

    • Thanks so much, ft. I enjoyed doing this challenge. Is your daughter now an architect? I’m sure she must have got some great ideas from her studies in Spain.

  12. Some glorious memories, Sylvia, but I can assure you that if and when I make it to Barcelona, they’ll have to drag me away! Beautiful post. That’s you on the roof? The lions were sadly missing when we visited Granada, and it was cold.

    • I seem to remember you saying the same thing about Machu Picchu, Jo. Do you throw tantrums everywhere you go. 🙂 Yes that’s me up on the roof. I look like a dwarf. 🙂

  13. I have been dying to go to Spain to see all the architecture you picture here, Sylvia. I want to see the Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllo and Casa Mila. And of course, I’m dying to see Alhambra Palace and Mezquita in Cordoba, because I adore Moorish architecture. I’m saving up my pennies so I can go this summer. A great array of photos for the challenge. Thanks for the inspiration!! 🙂

  14. Nice shots of the Spanish architecture at its best. Gaudi had an interesting take on design style, didn’t he? Wonder when Sagrada Familia will finally be finished; it’s going on something like 130-years in the making, right?

    • Thanks, Tom. I think that cathedral will be an ongoing masterpiece for many years to come. I need to go back and have another look, to see how far they’ve got. 🙂

  15. I just love your photos, they make me want to jump right on a plane and head back to Spain. I just love the flowing organic feel of the Gaudi buildings 🙂 The lack of straight lines does something warm and gooey to my soul.

  16. Really wonderful photos. There’ s so much to see in Spain – I have been just in Barcelona and Valencia (and enjoyed very much) but from the ones you mentioned above – Granada and Madrid still on my list. 🙂

  17. Magnificent, but despite the grandeur I still prefer the Alhambra. The Gaudi is stunning but I think it should be inhabited by Hobbits – having said that you do blend in quite well yourself at Casa Mila 🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. I think that Spain has a greater diversity of original architectural styles than any other country 😀

  19. Wonderful photos… of what I’m told is a stunning place… My son and his wife have just returned from a visit to Madrid, Ibiza and Barcelona… they were very fascinated by the architecture of Spain… looking at your photos I can see why… beautiful..

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