Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mudéjar and Modernism in Teruel

Teruel in Aragon region of Spain is not far north of Barcelona, but is isolated by mountains and easy transportation. It is next on my places to visit in Spain.
A Moorish stronghold, it was taken over in the 1100's but the style of architecture is reflected in the meaning of the name Mudéjar - "those who have been allowed to stay". Using mostly brick and plaster, the Muslim builders created calligraphic fantasies to house the needs of the Christian rulers.
The first photo shows the Plaza del Torico with a recent re-do using cool lights in the pavement to enhance the space. This is a continuation of the mash-up of styles and treatments in Teruel that are carefully combined to support the idea of a whole town as art, rather than just singular buildings.
The second photo is a new entrance to the Mudéjar- style Cathedral by Pablo Monquio in 1910 that matches the nervous embroidery of the original, but takes it into the Modernism of Casa Feran and La Madrileña by Monquio, shown in the last two photos. La Madrileña is the only building I have ever seen that looks as if it is crying.
There is probably a message about working harmoniously across time and religion, but perhaps it is too much to hope that life will imitate art.

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