The history of modern Spain is complex. Over periods encompassing many centuries, battles on the Iberian Peninsula for land and power raged between Christians and Muslims. Often conflicts also occurred between Christians as well as among different groups of Muslims.
Food, celebrations, cultural influences, and other facets of life blended or changed. As the powerful changed, so did the architecture of the day.
The period between 711 AD and 1492 AD is a time of significant upheaval in Spain. The architecture of this period reflects this turbulence in Andalucía in southern Spain. There the new architecture often built onto that of preceding rulers.
This story is about the architectural influences in southern Spain.
Happy New Year, everyone. I hope you have a wonderful 2017 and have begun to work to achieve all of your personal goals for the year.
Today is a cold New Year’s Day and the streets in Brno, Czech Republic (a.k.a. Czechia) are almost empty. I had the opportunity to wander around and “look up” to enjoy the architectural beauty designed into many of the center city buildings.
The past few days as I roamed through parts of the Wachau Trail in Austria, I came to realize that I am taken not only by the beauty of the buildings and ruins but also by their simplicity and unique architectural lines. As I see these buildings with lines that are not straight, have bulges, and often lack symmetry, I understand that I am finding them to be very beautiful. I look at the craftmanship that has gone into the buildings and see works of art.
For example, today I enclose two photos taken in Durnstein and Krems. One is of a Krems house that was built in 1210 and the other is ruins from the Durnstein Castle built in the twelfth century. Notice the lack of symmetry in the house and imagine the castle ruins taking structural shape based on the rocks high in the mountain overlooking the Danube River.
Of course there are architecture representations where engineers of the day constructed buildings that have almost perfect lines, like the Steiner Tor built in the fifteenth century. This photograph isn’t mine as I just can’t seem to capture it well. But it is beautiful at the western entrance to old Krems.
There are numerous statues in Krems many of which are depictions of religious figures. One that I have not yet learned about was constructed in 1682. It appears to me to be an old knight, possibly from the crusades. Crusaders traveled this way.
Signs of Spring are everywhere now! The apricot trees are in bloom and soon the millions of grape vines will be growing again on the Wachau Valley slopes on both sides of the Danube River. Both apricots and wine are specialty products in this area and I am looking forward to enjoying them throughout the Spring and Summer.
One last photo for today is taken from the castle ruins in Durnstein. King Richard I of England was imprisoned here in 1191 on returning from the crusades. The castle overlooks the river valley below, the town of Durnstein, and the numerous vineyards. The Wachau Valley is a very beautiful place!