Architecture - Gothic & Renaissance

Sevilla Cathedral
Sevilla Cathedral

Gothic

Classic Gothic architecture, overlapping with the mudéjar style, spread through Andalucía from the 14th century with the Reconquest. As the Christians recovered the towns and cities there was a big movement to build churches. The design is characterised by vertical lines, lofty pointed arches and high ceilings, with light streaming through stained-glass windows, of which the Cathedral of Santa María de la Sede in Sevilla is the classic example – it is also one of the largest cathedrals in the world.

Building on a grand scale is typical of the Gothic style. Churches have aisles almost as wide as the naves, separated by soaring pillars and with many side chapels. The churches of Santa María de la Asunción in Carmona and San Pablo in Úbeda are just two of the innumerable examples found throughout Andalucía. Whereas in Arcos de la Frontera, the Basilica and Church of Santa María de la Asunción is a classic example of the mixing of mudéjar and Gothic styles, and in Jerez de la Frontera the Gothic Church of San Mateo has overtones of Renaissance and Baroque.

Renaissance

The Renaissance in architecture can be described as an Italian originated return to disciplined ancient Greek and Roman ideals of harmony and proportion with columns and classical shapes like the square, circle and triangle predominating.

 

Palacio de Carlos V
Palacio de Carlos V

One of the most distinct features of many Renaissance buildings is an elegant interior courtyards surrounded by two tiers of wide, rounded arcades.  

The Palace of Carlos V, inside the Alhambra in Granada has the distinction of being one of the first Renaissance buildings created outside of Italy, modelled on Florence's equally massive Palazzo Pitti, and its architect, Pedro Machuca, was a student of Michelangelo in Rome.

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