Tina’s challenge this week is very interesting. Architecture can show us the historical evolution of a society.
The megalithic culture that spread throughout Europe left its mark on the Pyrenees. An example is the “Dolmen de Santa Elena”, a funerary construction with thousands of years of history. This was discovered in 1933 and according to data its origin can be traced back to 3000 BC.
Near the Pyrenees, the monastery of San Juan de la Peña, which dates back to medieval times, is a good example of ancient architecture. Built at the beginning of the 10th century, in its spectacular location under the shelter of the rock, it is a magical place that combines history, culture and nature like no other. Its walls were witness to the origins of the Kingdom of Aragon.
It is surrounded by a halo of legend enhanced by its secluded location in a place between rocks, this isolated location gave it a legendary character that has been related to the Holy Grail. It was the center of religious and political power during the 11th and 12th centuries and houses the tomb of great kings.
La Seo de Zaragoza is one of the two cathedrals that the city has. With a long history that dates back to Roman times (1st to 5th centuries) as it was built on the site of the ancient Roman forum of Caesaraugusta and the main mosque of Saraqusta (Muslim period 8th to 12th centuries), whose minaret still remains the imprint on the current tower.
The building was started in the 12th century in the Romanesque style, integrated into the Aljama mosque, and has undergone many reforms and extensions until 1704, the year in which the Baroque spire was placed topping the tower. Although it was not until 1788 when the 4 statues representing the cardinal virtues were placed in the new tower of the Seo, on the body of the clock tower.
Next to La Seo we can find another iconic building in my city. La Lonja, a civil building in the Aragonese Renaissance style built in the first half of the 16th century in Zaragoza (1541-1551) as an area for economic activities. Today it is an exhibition hall of the City Hall.
Its facades are inspired by Italian palaces but, unlike these, which were built in stone, in Zaragoza brick was used, since it was the most available material in the area. For its construction, they used the Mudejar techniques that had been developed in the city.
The exterior structure of the Lonja de Zaragoza is made up of three false floors, highlighting the gallery of arches on the top level and the wooden eaves, like those found in Florentine palaces.
The Paraninfo building, in use since its inauguration in 1893, was originally the headquarters of the Faculties of Medicine and Sciences in Zaragoza. It is the oldest historical construction of the University and the best known and studied, both for its monumentality and high artistic value, as well as for its privileged position in the nerve center of the city.
The Paraninfo was one of the most outstanding buildings in Spain in its time and the one that contributed decisively to the renovation of Aragonese architecture between the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Right next to the Paraninfo, new buildings appear, like this one built in 1945, which embellish the city and make it grow towards modernity.
Built at the confluence of the most important arteries of the city.
The architect crowned the building with an attic that is enhanced in the corner thanks to a pavilion in which the sculptural group in bronze made entitled “Monument to Savings” is located.
For the 2008 exhibition new constructions appeared in Zaragoza, filling some areas with new shapes and colors.
Like the Torre del Agua, which with its 76 m. tall it became the tallest building in the city. Its shape simulating a drop of water has placed it in one of the most original buildings in the environment.
Despite everything, like the beautiful gladiolus-shaped bridge that I showed you a few days ago, this one has not found any use either.
This is where my historical representation of architecture ends. I thought I would have to check out a lot of places, but it has been very easy for me without going far from home.
Posted as part of Lens-Artists: Interesting Architecture