Architecture of Valladolid

Valladolid has a monumental wealth of great architectural and tourist value in which a series of monuments, both civil and religious, stand out. The architecture of Valladolid has had a parallel evolution to the Spanish one, and has followed in a diverse way the multiple tendencies that have been produced in the context of the history of Western art.

The architecture of Valladolid reflects the evolution since it was a small village in the middle ages until it became the capital of the empire in the modern age, after which came a population decline that was not reversed until the nineteenth century with the arrival of the railroad to the town (1864) and that increased enormously in the second half of the 20th century (decades of the 50, 60 and 70) in which there was in Spain the emigration from the countryside to the city, and specifically in Valladolid the installation of factories in industrial estates. From that moment on, although the city continues to grow, especially towards the south and the east, this rhythm will slow down a lot because the demographic and urban growth will move to nearby towns such as Arroyo de la Encomienda, Boecillo, Cistérniga, Laguna de Duero, Santovenia de Pisuerga and Zaratán. The 21st century will continue this trend.

Architectural styles
Valladolid was repopulated by Count Pedro Ansúrez in 1072. Therefore, the vestiges of Vacce, Romans, Visigoths and Arabs are lost, the oldest surviving buildings come from the Middle Ages.

Middle Ages (476-1492)

Romanesque (11th-12th centuries)
When the count Pedro Ansúrez came in the year 1072 as lord and governor of Valladolid and there were two parishes (church of San Miguel and the church San Julian, both now disappeared), an insignificant (the defensive enclosure wall Valladolid, but rather it was a low fence or stockade). Shortly thereafter, buildings such as the Church of Santa María La Antigua (1088, although it has undergone modifications for centuries until the 20th century) and the tower of the church of San Martín (12th-1621 AD, although removing the tower the rest of the building was rebuilt in 1588).

Gothic (XII-XV centuries)
The Plaza de San Pablo is gaining importance quickly as one of the main nerve centers of the city (then it was on the northern edge of the city), building several remarkable buildings that are preserved today as the Church of San Pablo (1445-1616) and beside it the College of San Gregorio (1488-1496), current headquarters of the National Museum of Sculpture. Other buildings were built on direct roads to the square such as the Church of Santa Clara de Asís (1249-1742, which was outside the walls) or the Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor (Valladolid) (almost completely demolished in the 17th century).to make room for the construction of the cathedral). Many of these buildings are of the so-called Elizabethan Gothic style and have Renaissance influences and features. The church of San Lorenzo (s.XV-XX), on whose altar the patron saint of Valladolid (the Virgin of San Lorenzo) is worshiped, was extensively remodeled in the 20th century and only the tower and part of the original remains of the 15th century. the facade.

Modern Age (1492-1789)

Renaissance (XV-XVII centuries)
It is the time of splendor of the city, in which many buildings such as palaces or churches are erected. In fact, the Palace of Santa Cruz (1486-1491) was the first Renaissance building built in Spain. Many of these buildings also have a mixture of various styles such as Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. In the case of the Renaissance style prevails one of Spanish origin: the so-called Herreriano. The construction project of the Cathedral of Valladolid (1595- present) is undoubtedly the most ambitious of the time in the architecture of the city and one of the most representative of this style in the country. Even today the building has not finished (it is built at 40-45%,).

Again, it is the Plaza de San Pablo, the neighboring roads, as one of the places where more buildings are built, mainly palaces, such as the Palace of the Count of Gondomar (1439-1540), the Palace of the Nurseries (XV century), Pimentel Palace (XV century), Villena Palace (16th century), the Royal Palace of Valladolid (16th century), the Butrón Palace (1565-1572), the Marqués de Valverde Palace (16th century)), the House of the Arenzana (s.XVI), the Palace of Fabio Nelli (1576-end of the same century), the Palace of the Counts of Benavente(1515-first half same century), Palace of the Counts of Buendía (XV century), the Archbishop’s Palace of Valladolid (XVI century), plateresque style, the Palace of the Escudero-Herrera (XVI century) and the Palace of the Villagómez (s.XVII). There were many more palaces that were lost during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by abandonment or by the urban expansion that occurred, causing Fernando Chueca Goitia to affirm that the destruction of the historical-artistic heritage of Valladolid was nine out of ten.

Renaissance palaces of Valladolid
Fire of 1561
The fire suffered the 21 of September of 1561 destroyed much of the city center (total one – tenth of the city was lost). The reconstruction ordered by Felipe II had as a consequence the lifting of the Plaza Mayor, considered as the first regular square in Spain and then imitated in other cities such as Salamanca and Madrid. Nearby streets were also reconstructed, such as Platería Street, one of the best preserved streets in the city.

Capital of the Spanish Empire (1601-1606)
The court of Felipe III of Spain under the validation of the Duke of Lerma, moved from Madrid to Valladolid between January 11, 1601 and March 4, 1606, to later return to Madrid. At that time the city went from 30,000 people to more than 70,000 (after 1606 it fell to 18,000 inhabitants in 1646). In those brief years, palaces such as the Palacio de la Ribera (1602-1605, and of which only a few remains are preserved) and houses such as the Casa de Cervantes (1602-1605) are built, since it is a time of urban growth. Other existing buildings such asRoyal Palace of Valladolid (16th century) were extensively remodeled.

Baroque (XVII-XVIII centuries)
The Facade of the University of Valladolid (1716-1718, today Faculty of Law of the University of Valladolid) is surely the best example of Baroque in the city. The church of San Juan de Letrán (1675-1730) is the most representative religious building of this era that is preserved in the city. On the other hand, the church of Our Lady of the Carmelite Extramuros (1583- mid-20th century) has undergone major restorations that have eliminated some Baroque elements that it possessed. The Royal College of San Albano (1672-1679) with its brick facade is considered one of the most representative buildings of this style in the city. This style is also theHermitage of San Isidro (1692), the only hermitage of the city that is currently preserved.

Contemporary Age (1789-present)

Neoclassicism (XVIII-XIX centuries)
The best example of neoclassicism in the city is the Convent of the Filipinos (1759-1930), which also has significant Baroque elements. Another remarkable religious building of this time is the Royal Monastery of San Joaquín and Santa Ana (1780-1787) with a sober facade and located in the heart of the city. El Viejo Coso (1833), used for bullfighting, has a brick facade, following the Roman model. Also it is of this time the biggest park of the city, the Great Field (1787-s.XIX) although later, mainly in century XIX it is transformed intensely from its original neoclassical conception to the romantic and naturalistic conceptionthat he currently has, especially since the time of Miguel Íscar as mayor of the city.

Eclecticism and Historicism (1850-1936)
During the nineteenth century several architectural currents that overlap. The Eclecticismo or Historicismo not refer to the same historicism is the use of a previous language and eclecticism is the use of several previous languages into a single architecture. Modernism is the third great architectural current.

The three main architectural currents of the nineteenth century (Eclecticism, Historicism and Modernism) in Valladolid can be observed mainly in the growth of the city towards the train station (1895), which causes the Recoletos Sidewalk and the surroundings of the Plaza de Zorrilla became, from the middle of the 19th century, the icon of the burgeoning bourgeoisie. Highlights buildings from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: the eclectic Casa Mantilla (1891) or the modernist Casa del Príncipe (1906) are two good examples. One of the most striking buildings of this style is the Calderón Theater (1864), eclectic design and neoclassical trend. The new consistorial house (1897-1908) is from this period, combining different styles such as eclecticism with a Beaux-Artian character with Renaissance inspiration. The Circle of Recreation (1902) is eclectic with neo-Renaissance inspiration. The Gutiérrez Passage (1886) is one of the three examples of covered commercial gallery that are conserved in Spain. The Cavalry Academy of Valladolid (1921-1924) of Neoplateresque style (belonging to historicism) is one of the most representative buildings of this era and the whole city. The Palace of Posts and Telegraphs(1922) was raised in neo- Renaissance style but in the 70s it was totally remodeled losing its palatial appeal. An example of religious construction of this period is the church of San Juan Bautista (1930-1932), with an eclectic historicist style. The Church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar (1906-1907), of Neo- Gothic style, is the most representative religious building of the time. Another very recognizable building is the Unión y el Fénix (1936), at the beginning of the Calle de Santiago as it leaves the Plaza Mayor and is neo- baroque style. In the industrial section highlights the factory of the “Electra Popular Vallisoletana” (1906-1907, although it was remodeled and expanded in the 20s).

The Valladolid civil buildings built during the nineteenth century and the first third of the XX eclectic and historicist style often have common characteristics such as sobriety in its facade, have simpler decoration, balconies closed or with small size and protected with metal railings and have about 3 -4 stories high. They are mainly in the routes connecting the Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Zorrilla, Square Spain, Plaza Colón and Plaza Madrid each other as the street Santiago, the Recoletos, the street Duque de la Victoria, Cánovas del Castillo, Miguel Íscar, Gamazo or López Gómez. Much of the city of this period owes its shape and design to the architect Jerónimo Ortiz de Urbina and his son Antonio Ortiz de Urbina y Olasagasti.

Modernism (1888-1918)
Modernism is considered an art different from the previous two because its intention is to create a new art that represents a break with the dominant styles at the time (historicism and eclecticism). As happened with Eclecticism and Historicism, the best examples of Valladolid modernism are found around the Recoletos Sidewalk and the Plaza de Zorrilla. The best example of this period in the city is the House of the Prince (1906). Another highlight is the building No. 6 Canovas del Castillo Street (1916). Both are the only two representatives in Valladolid that are reminiscent of Catalan modernism and theModernismo Madrid, the two main currents that were developed in the country. In what was then the outskirts of the city (today Parque Alameda) another interesting example is the Casa Luelmo (1907-1912), which today is the headquarters of the Historical Heritage Foundation of Castilla y León.

Rationalism and Art Deco (1918-1936)
Most rationalist buildings are located near the Plaza Mayor or on roads that connect to it, such as Calle de Santiago or Calle del Duque de la Victoria. An example would be the residential building, on the corner of Plaza Mayor and Corrillo, built in 1926. As for the Art Deco style, the Roxy cinema (1936, now converted into the Roxy Casino), is the best example of this sparse style available in the city.

Postwar architecture (1936-1949)
Although the Spanish civil war (1936-1939) did not cause great patrimonial losses since from the beginning Valladolid remained in the rebellious zone, that was the one that ended up winning the war, some churches were damaged (burned, fundamentally) the first days of the war and other buildings were damaged by the Republican bombings. These buildings were progressively restored, such as the Church of Our Lady of Carmen (1937-1949). Later due to the hard post-war in the autarky period, a large number of buildings were not built until the development initiated in the 50s. The Francoist architecture had an imperial aesthetic andtraditionalist that in architecture reproduced Herrerian forms. Due to its ambition, it is worth highlighting the projected (and began to be built in 1945) Alcázar de Cristo Rey, an architectural complex around the National Shrine of the Great Promise (1610-1941) of enormous proportions. This building designed as a “pilgrimage center” would have a tower 125 meters high (higher than the cathedral). The gigantic project ended up leaving.

The César Cort Plan (1938) and its consequences
In 1938 the Alicante urban planner César Cort carried out an urban planningdesigned and partially executed that consisted in the demolition of old buildings, convents and cloisters, including dozens of Renaissance palaces, and which were demolished to build large blocks of flats height that break the architectural harmony of the city and make streets more walkable traffic. The remodeling of the historic center consisted in the opening of large arteries that should link with the roads and bridges that would ensure the connection with the other side of the river and also the realization of an avenue of the factories, that facilitated the mobility of the working population of Valladolid.

The plan pointed out the impossibility:

«Of any improvement that does not start from the principle of total destruction of the existing 10 »

This drastic measure, it was tried to counteract by means of a project of conclusion of the herreriana cathedral that finally was in nothing, except the facade of the east of the cruise (1962-1964).

One of the most controversial examples of the plan was the attempt to open a street that reached from Ochavo Square through Platería Street to Plaza de San Pablo, which would have involved the demolition of historic buildings such as the Church of the Vera Cruz (1581-1595), although different disputes between the town hall, the archbishopric and the brotherhood put an end to the project of a “Gran Vía” from Valladolid. The consequences of the principles of this plan lasted until 1978, when Valladolid was declared a historical-artistic complex.

Modern Movement (1950-1975)
It is at this time when the greatest demographic growth in its history occurs in the city (see Demography of Valladolid). The city goes from having 119,499 inhabitants in 1950 to having 320,281 inhabitants in 1981. This increase was due to the massive emigration of the countryside to the city and caused a great loss of historical heritage and the construction of working class neighborhoods such as La Rondilla, Barrio del Hospital, Barrio de Girón, Los Pajarillos or Las Delicias among others. The city begins to grow towards all directions, especially towards the east and the south (Paseo de Zorrilla). There are numerous buildings of this style in the Plaza de España such as the Bank of Spain Building (1954) or the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace (1963), undoubtedly modern style.

Transition and democracy (1976-1999)
The city continues its extension by the east bank of the river Pisuerga and towards the south (like the neighborhoods of Covares and Alameda Park). In the first case, the Parquesol neighborhood is built, including the new José Zorrilla stadium for the 1982 World Cup. Two modern churches were also built in that neighborhood; the Church of Christ the Redeemer (1991) and the Church of Our Lady of Prado (1993). The century ended with the completion of the construction of the Duque de Lerma Building (1970-1999), the highest in the city with 87 meters and that soon after being built in the 70s was left unfinished and in that state was until 1997 when it begins to rehabilitate.

Siglo XXI (2000- present)
The first decade of the 21st century the city experiences economic and urban growth, in which buildings are clearly inspired by the contemporary architectural trends of the 21st century, such as the Science Museum of Valladolid (2003), the new seat of the Cortes of Castilla y León (2007), the Miguel Delibes Cultural Center (2007), the new Rio Hortega Hospital (2000-2007) or the Millennium Dome(2011). The great project of the decade is the underground railway, which would end with the “scar” that crosses the city from south to north and would communicate better neighborhoods such as the Pilarica or Delicias with the rest of the town. Although redevelopment projects are made with architects such as Richard Rogers finally the project is scrapped in 2015 for being economically unviable, in 2017 finally committed to the integration of the rail surface.

Source from Wikipedia