It’s certainly true that travel broadens the mind and for me seeing some different architecture on a recent trip to Seville was both educational and inspiring. It’s always a surprise to see how architectural styles vary so much between neighbouring countries, and in the southern European sun, how colour plays such an important role in distinguishing one building from another.
Seville is famous for its ceramics and tiles which are used extensively on building facades and in delightful enclosed courtyard gardens and squares. Brightly coloured ceramic balustrading provides an exuberant introduction to the awe-inspiring Plaza de España, a sweeping semi-circular pavilion built for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo that apparently almost bankrupt the city following the Wall Street crash. Tiles forming intricate patterns and pictures adorn roofs, walls, and even street names.
Moorish influences combine with Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and modern styles to provide a visual feast of delicate stone carving, fancy brickwork, and ornamentation of intense detail. Many of these delights are on balconies, roofs and towers so that one spends a great deal of time with neck craned admiring the never-ending display of superb design and workmanship. The Alcázar palace and gardens is a dazzling spectacle of intricate design that is truly breathtaking.
Time to plan another visit I think.