Gothic architecture in Spain

The Gothic architecture spread in Spain in the late twelfth century, relatively quickly since its birth in France. Its consolidation was progressive, combining in its first moments the Romanesque and Gothic architectural elements. From its beginnings until the period of the high Gothic period, Spanish architecture remained faithful to French models. However, some features such as the insistence on Romanesque types of plants or the conservation of decorative elements of Mudejar influence led to the formation of local stylistic variants, this process was increased at the end of the 13th century and during the 14th century, in which appeared a wide differentiation in regional architectural and decorative forms. The development of architecture in Spain during these centuries reflected the different historical circumstances to which the various Hispanic kingdoms were subject. Thus, especially in the south of Spain, the development of Gothic was adopted somewhat late. For its part, economic prosperity in Catalonia stimulated civil construction in this area. At the end of the 15th century, a panaespañol style emerged, characteristic of the circle of the Catholic Monarchs, which was born from the meeting of European late-Gothic structures with Mudejar decorations and Renaissance motifs.

Spanish Gothic architecture is the style of architecture prevalent in Spain in the Late Medieval period. The Gothic style started in Spain as a result of Central European influence in the twelfth century when late Romanesque alternated with few expressions of pure Gothic architecture. The High Gothic arrives with all its strength via the pilgrimage route, the Way of Saint James, in the thirteenth century. Some of the most pure Gothic cathedrals in Spain, closest related to the German and French Gothic, were built at this time.

The Gothic style was sometimes adopted by the Mudéjar architects, who created a hybrid style, employing European techniques and Spanish-Arab decorations. The most important post−thirteenth-century Gothic styles in Spain are the Levantino, characterized by its structural achievements and the unification of space, and the Isabelline Gothic, under the Catholic Monarchs, that predicated a slow transition to Renaissance style architecture.

Gothic art
Gothic art has its beginning in France, emerged around the year 1140 on the island of France, from then on it was attended to a deep development and renovation of architecture, both for the quality and the number of buildings built. Spain together with Germany were two of the countries in Europe that received the Gothic architecture with greater enthusiasm. The introduction of Gothic in the Iberian Peninsula, due to the geographical and political relationship with France, began quite early and was very long lasting, maintaining close ties with French Gothic due to the interest of Hispanic monarchs in strengthening ties with art and culture. culture of your French neighbor.

The diffusion of Gothic architecture in Spain had three main ways of influence, the first was the Cistercian architecture that spread throughout the country and that before the thirteenth century led to the construction of the great convents of the Reformed Order, precedents of art Gothic. The second way was the relations maintained between the County of Barcelona with the Languedoc and Provence in France and the contact of the Catalan bishops with those of Narbonne and Montpellier. The third way occurred in Castile and Leon, where the marriages of several kings with princesses of the houses of Anjou, Burgundyand Plantagenet motivated the introduction of French Gothic in the central area.

The transition between the Romanesque and the Gothic styles took place gradually in Spain, due to the misgivings aroused by the new Gothic structures of a revolutionary nature at that time. The first Gothic element that is incorporated into Spanish architecture is the vault of warhead, its appearance is made around the year 1170, via the Order of the Cister. One manifestation of this transit is the fact that some buildings begin to work in a Gothic style and then continue under Romanesque schemes. 3 The combination of both forms merge into a style of transition, which has its main presence in the Tarragona cathedrals begun in 1174, Lérida (1203), Ávila(1170) and Cuenca (1196).

The Gothic plenum of the XIII century
The full Gothic reaches its full force through the Camino de Santiago in the thirteenth century, with the creation of some of the purest Gothic cathedrals, of French influence, during the reign of Ferdinand III in Castile and Leon: the cathedrals of Burgos, León and Toledo. In the Plateau two influences are present, the Burgundian, in the Kingdom of León, due to the marriage of Alfonso VI with Constance of Burgundy; and the English, in the Kingdom of Castile, arrival through the matrimonial alliance of the Castilian kings with the House of Lancaster (Juan de Gante and Catalina de Lancáster).

Burgos Cathedral
The first stone of the cathedral was placed on July 20, 1221 in the presence of the promoters of the temple: King Ferdinand III of Castile and Bishop Mauricio. It can be assumed that the first master builder was an anonymous French architect. The construction of the cathedral began by the head and the presbytery. Around 1240 he assumed the direction of the works the so-called Maestro Enrique, also of French origin, who would later take over the project of the cathedral of León and which undoubtedly was inspired by the cathedral of Reims, with whose façade the gable end of the Burgos seo has great similarities. The works advanced with great rapidity and towards 1238, year of the death of the founding prelate, buried in the presbytery, the head and most of the transept and the ships were almost finished. The consecration of the temple took place in 1260, although there are religious celebrations in it since 1230. Between the second half of the XIII century and the beginning of the XIV the chapels of the lateral naves were completed and a new cloister was built. To the teacher Enrique, deceased in 1277, the teacher Johan Pérez took over. Other later stonecutters were Aparicio Pérez, active in 1327, Pedro Sánchez de Molina and Martín Fernández, who died respectively in 1396 and 1418. In the middle of the 15th century, on the towers, Juan de ColoniaIt raised two octagonal base needles, decorated with fine drafts that definitively shaped the silhouette of the burgalés temple. The chapel of the Condestable, work of Simón de Colonia was also added later. The cathedral is a building with three naves and simple ambulatory. The interior is difficult to appreciate because of the presence of a large choir.

Cathedral of Toledo
The building of the cathedral is a work of the thirteenth century, the first stone was placed on August 14, 1226, also with the assistance of King Fernando III and the Archbishop of Toledo, Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, who from the beginning of his mandate, in 1209, defended before the Pope, the primacy of the Toledo headquarters. In his mind was the construction of a great cathedral worthy of this city he ruled. Ximénez de Rada was the enthusiastic promoter of the new cathedral. Towards the middle of the century there was a change in the works, with the arrival of the master Petrus Petri, who according to his tombstone is considered as the true creator of the cathedral. The construction of this cathedral is of fundamental importance for the maintenance of a tradition that has to influence one of the most distinctive features of Spanish Gothic architecture. The temple presents five ships of stepped heights, which distribute their thrust and double ambulatory.

The oldest part of the temple is the head that maintains the original triforiums in its architecture. In the head is the double ambulatory as it corresponds to a plant of five ships. This double ambulatory is of great proportions, the sections of the ambulatory corresponding to the different chapels are structured with alternative plants of rectangles and triangles, which caused that each chapel was of different size, greater the one of rectangular character and smaller the triangular ones. This way of structuring the header can be seen in the French cathedrals of Notre Dame in Paris, Bourges and Le Mans, the latter being the closest. The vaultsof the ships are quadripartite except in the transept and main chapel. in which they are reinforced with terceletes.

Cathedral of León
The construction of the Gothic cathedral began around 1205, but the construction problems of the foundations caused the works to be paralyzed soon, and the task was not resumed until 1255, under the pontificate of Bishop Martín Fernández and the support of King Alfonso X Wise, being this new cathedral of entirely Gothic style. The architect of the cathedral seems to have been the master Enrique, perhaps a native of France, and who had previously worked in the cathedral of Burgos. It is evident that he knew the Gothic architectural form of the island of France. He died in 1277, being replaced by the Spanish Juan Pérez. In 1289 Bishop Martin Fernandez also died, when the head of the temple was already open to worship.

The fundamental structure of the cathedral was soon completed, in 1302, with Bishop Gonzalo Osorio opening the entire church to the faithful, although the south tower was not finished until the 15th century. This readiness in the works gives a great unity of architectural style. The Cathedral of León, like its sister predecessor the cathedral of Burgos, is inspired by the plant of the cathedral of Reims, which could well know the teacher Enrique. This aspect, such as the plant, the elevations, and the decorative and symbolic repertoires make this cathedral an authentic transpyrenean building, far from the Hispanic current and belonging to the purest school of French Champagne, because if its formal features are related to the Gothic Champagne, its symbolic meanings and architectural program are closely linked with those of theCathedral of Saint Denis, the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and Reims Cathedral. Geographically, it is not alien to that world either, because the city was one of the most important landmarks of the Camino de Santiago, also called the French Way. As a most important characteristic feature, the cathedral of Leon enjoys reaching the luminous summum of all the cathedrals, with an immense space of stained glass windows as the stony support structure is reduced to the minimum possible.

Other buildings of the XIII century of the kingdom of Castilla
Cathedral of the Assumption of El Burgo de Osma
Cathedral of Santa Maria de Vitoria

14th century
The fourteenth century is the splendor of the Gothic in the Mediterranean areas of Catalonia, Valencia and Mallorca. The climatic diversity, the French and Italian influence and the social configuration mark the Gothic style in these areas, with their own features. They are sober and solid external constructions of great simplicity that grants great solemnity to the temples, which present the so-called lounge plant of northern European tradition, in which the difference in height with the aisles is reduced, and the absence of a flying buttress, with scarce sculptural decoration, characterized by the influence of the churches of southern France and the almost null contribution of Mudejar art. The concern for perfection and constructive purity replaces the decorative eagerness of Castilian architecture. Civil architecture also stands out. 2 Your best examples are:

Religious architecture

Barcelona Cathedral
Started to build in 1298. It is formed by three naves of the same height, the central one twice as wide as the lateral ones; lacks a transverse nave From the false transept the circulars join in ambulatory, passing behind the presbytery and forming a semicircular arc, where a crown of galleries are housed, covered by pointed arches and above these chapels are the stained glass windows that illuminate the apse.

Girona Cathedral
The cathedral of Girona was begun to build in 1317, its construction was an extraordinary daring at the time. In principle its design was similar to that of Barcelona, but during its construction, the architect Guillermo Bofill, decided to unify the three naves of the headboard in one with side chapels, which gave the cathedral a very different appearance to that of the remaining religious Gothic buildings.

Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca
The cathedral of Palma de Mallorca that has three naves without ambulatory, of extraordinary height that reaches 44 meters in its central nave. The biggest novelty that presents the cathedral is the apse that closes in a straight line. It also highlights the large rosette that allows the lighting of your headboard. It was consecrated in 1346.

Church of Santa María del Mar
The works were begun on March 2, 1329 and in 1393 the last stone of the vault’s closing was placed. The traces are attributed Jaime Fabre. The exterior following the characteristics of Catalan Gothic has a solid and robust appearance. The set of the interior shows a conception of unitary character of great luminosity, with three naves, of very similar heights. The presbytery is organized with a section with a polygonal head with eight columns.

Other religious buildings of the Catalan Gothic
Collegiate Church of Santa María (Manresa).
Cathedral of Tortosa, begun in 1347.
Cathedral of Santa María de Ciudadela.

Religious buildings of Valencian Gothic
Cathedral of Santa María de Valencia. The temple preserves the Gothic work of the fourteenth century, the door of the apostles, the rosette and its splendid dome.
Convent of Santo Domingo (Valencia)
In Alfauir, the Monastery of San Jerónimo de Cotalba.

Civil architecture
The civil architecture has great relevance throughout the area of Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia and Mallorca. The need for large spaces led to the construction of buildings such as fish markets, municipal houses, palaces of the urban and bourgeois nobility, hospitals, fortifications, etc. Of all the most dazzling fish markets they are generally built in the last periods of Gothic architecture.

Civil buildings of Valencian Gothic
Royal Shipyards of Valencia
Lonja de la Seda. Built between 1482 and 1498
Palace of the Valencian Government, started in 1421.
Towers of Quart. Its construction was carried out between 1441 and 1460
Torres de Serranos. Its construction was carried out between 1392 and 1398
Almudín de Valencia. Its construction dates from the early 14th century
Ducal Palace of Gandia. Started in the mid-fourteenth century.

Civil buildings of the Catalan Gothic
Royal Shipyards of Barcelona. Its construction began in the late thirteenth century.
Royal Palace of Barcelona. XIV century.
The Council of the Hundred (Barcelona). End of the 14th century.
Hospital of the Santa Cruz de Barcelona. Early fifteenth century.
Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia, where the courtyard of the palace and the attached staircase stand out, as well as the chapel of San Jordi, in which Marc Safont intervened during the 15th century.
House of the Archdeacon in Barcelona. Originally from the 12th century, it was deeply renovated in 1510.
The Aguilar Palace, in the street of Montcada, Barcelona, currently the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. The main courtyard dates from the 15th century.

15th and 16th centuries
During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, while the Renaissance was growing strongly in Italy, the constructive activity of the Gothic is overwhelming in Spain, there are numerous buildings of great proportions, characterized by the structural simplicity of the construction and the ornamental complication. The great cathedrals of Seville, begun in 1402, Segovia (1525) and Salamanca (1513), are erected. The dilemma of styles in which the architecture of the time was found was perceived in a fully conscious way by contemporaries, but in a very different way to what is usually perceived by the current taste, which associates Renaissance with ” modernity ” and with Gothic art. ” medievality “: Diego de Sagredohe expressed it with the opposition between the modern style (the Gothic, in its local version) and the Roman (the Classical and Italianate Renaissance), between the Gothic style, rational and efficient and the Roman style, bombastic and sensual.

During the fifteenth century, the influence of flamenco is very important and there are many artists from northern Europe who are established in Spain, the close commercial and political relationship of Castile with the center and north of Europe calls on architects such as Juan and Simón de Colonia, that act fundamentally in Burgos and Valladolid, where they emphasize the Chapel of the Condestable in the cathedral of Burgos, the conventual church of San Pablo (Valladolid) and the School of San Gregorio.

Hanequín of Brussels initiates the toledano focus, followed by his disciple Juan Guas del that emphasizes the Palace of the Infantado and Monastery of San Juan of the Kings and Enrique Egas that create school adapting to the local sensitivity. The fusion of Gothic, Flemish and Mudejar motifs reaches its maximum development, during this century, giving rise to an authentic national style, called Elizabethan Gothic, named for coinciding with the reign of the Catholic Monarchs. It is characterized by a rich ornamentation, which brings together flamboyant, Mudejar and Renaissance forms. This style initiates a slow transition to rebirth, but at the same time it supposes a strong and determined resistance to abandon the traditional Gothic constructive paradigms. His best works are San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo, the Royal Chapel of Granada and the Cartuja de Miraflores in Burgos.

To this period also corresponds the cathedral of Palencia, that although begun in 1321, has its fundamental advance during the 15th century. 6 During this period, the plateresque that comes to be a reinterpretation of Renaissance art along with Renaissance purism also breaks out, without clear chronological boundaries between all these tendencies being established.

Source from Wikipedia