Mudejar & Romanesque


Casa de Pilatos
Casa de Pilatos

The Mudejar and Romanesque architectural styles are heavily influenced by Spain's religious past and present.



The mudéjar style of architecture emerged in Andalucía during the 12th century as Romanesque, with its close links to France and Italy, spread through northern and central Spain. The style, unique to southern Spain and lasting into the 16th century, flourished in each region as it was reconquered by the Christians. It refers to the art and architecture created by the Moors who stayed behind and continued to construct according to the traditions and techniques begun by the Almohads and Nasrids.


Although building designs did not change radically, a typical feature of this era was the techo artesonado, or ornately decorated coffered wooden ceiling. The spaces within the beams were covered with wood carvings, using geometric designs and plant motifs, or calligraphy as first used by the Umayyads. One of the finest remaining examples can be seen in the Palacio de Pedro I in Sevilla, with others at the Grand Mosque in Córdoba, or the Hospital de San Juan de Dios in Jaén. The Church of San Dionisio in Jerez de la Frontera, built in the mid-15th century and extensively renovated in the 18th century, still retains its original coffered ceiling.

The Castillo de Torrestrella in Medina Sidiona (Cádiz) was constructed during this period, as was the Castillo de Luna in Mairena del Alcor (Sevilla), and the old Jewish synagogue in Córdoba has exquisite wooden trellising and plasterwork in the mudéjar style. The cloisters in the Monasterio de La Rábida in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva), built in the mudéjar style in the 15th century, remain the best preserved part of the monastery, much of which was destroyed following the disastrous earthquake which hit Portugal in 1755.


The first major architectural style of Christian Andalusia and there are few buildings remaining which exhibit this distinctive style; one of the few is the Iglesia de la Santa Cruz in Baeza with its distinctive round arches and semicircular apse.

See and Do

Living in Andalucia