A family wedding in Spain September 2013 was the impetus for me and my family to visit “the land of bulls” for the first time. We experienced the wonderful and diverse cultures of a number of cities in Andalucia, Catalonia, Madrid and the Basque Country.
Due to its location on the Iberian Peninsula between mainland Europe and northern Africa, Spanish architecture over thousands of years has been influenced by many waves of historical conquest (e.g. Roman, Visgoth, Moorish, and Christian), leaving a rich and varied architectural legacy.
Our hit list of places to see included many historically and culturally significant sites including: art galleries, museums, parks, royal palaces, cathedrals, Roman ruins, plazas, markets, bull rings, bridges and of course local bars and restaurants for tapas or pintxos (“pinchos” as they are known in northern Spain). But as Spain is renowned for its exceptional ground-breaking contemporary architecture (whether it be home-grown or imported) my interest also lay in exploring some notable examples of these.
Apart from Gaudi I knew little about Spanish architects and it was through my travel research that I came across many wonderful instances of iconic contemporary architecture. So our travel itinerary was made with some of these works in mind.
- Santiago Calatrava
- Frank Gehry – Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao)
- Jean Nouvel – Agbar Tower (Barcelona)
- Antoni Gaudi
- Jürgen Mayer-Herman – Metropol Parasol (Seville, 2011)