Route of Modernism

Modernism, an international artistic and philosophical movement that reached its peak in the early 20th century, had a profound impact on the history of Andalucía. A central tenet of Modernism is the idea that the artist should be free to explore new techniques and materials without being bound by tradition. This emphasis on innovation led to a wave of experimentation in Andalusia, as artists began to experiment with Cubism, Surrealism, and other avant-garde styles. These movements had a significant impact on both the art world and society at large, helping to shape the Andalusian identity. Today, Modernism is still evident in Andalusia, with many of its buildings and landmarks bearing the imprint of this revolutionary period.

Modernism in Andalucia

The modernist architecture in Andalusia is open to all the international influences. It has direct vestiges of the French Art Nouveau, the architectural essentialism of V. Horta, as well as the contained beauty of the Viennese Secession, which are especially noticeable in the exquisite interior decorations of the small shops finished at the beginning of the century. The evident relation that the modernist architecture has with the Bourgeois determines a production which is almost exclusively domestic or commercial.

Recommended places to visit

Centre Pompidou Málaga

The image above is from the Centre Pompidou in Malaga, a Parisian museum where you can see temporal works from modernist and post-modernist artists.

Atarazanas Market: A Modernist Jewel with a Nasrid Touch

The Atarazanas Market is one of the most striking buildings of Malaga, combining different architectural styles and influences. The market was built on the site of a former shipyard from the 14th century, when Malaga was part of the Nasrid kingdom. The only remnant of that period is the magnificent horseshoe arch at the main entrance, which was restored in 1977.

The rest of the building dates from the late 19th century, when it was designed by Joaquín Rucoba, a municipal architect who also created other emblematic edifices in Malaga, such as La Malagueta bullring and La Alameda park. Rucoba followed the modernist style that was popular at that time in Europe, especially in Barcelona. He used iron as the main material for the structure and roof, creating a spacious and luminous space.

One of the most impressive features of the market is the stained glass window that covers one of its walls. It depicts scenes of Malaga's history, culture and landscape, such as its cathedral, its port and its mountains. The window was made by Manuel Muñoz Barberán, a local artist who also painted some murals inside the market.

The Atarazanas Market is not only an architectural masterpiece but also a gastronomic paradise. You can find fresh produce from local farmers and fishermen, as well as meat, cheese, spices and more. You can also enjoy some delicious tapas at some of the bars inside or outside the market.

The Atarazanas Market is open from Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. It is located in Calle Atarazanas, near Plaza de la Constitución and Larios Street.

More places to visit

  • Equitativa building, located on the corner of Larios Street and Alameda Principal. It was built between 1920 and 1922 by architects Eduardo Strachan and Manuel Rivera Vera. It has a cream-colored facade with lion heads, snakes and a statue of Hermes that symbolize commerce and banking. Map:
  • The Consul's house, located on Paseo de Sancha. It was built between 1910 and 1911 by architect Fernando Guerrero Strachan. It has a facade with floral and geometric elements that evoke the French Art Nouveau and the Viennese Secession. Its tower with a glazed viewpoint stands out. Map:
  • The Cervantes Theatre in Malaga. It was built between 1869 and 1870 by architect Jerónimo Cuervo González. It has a neoclassical style with some modernist details such as the ironwork on the balconies and the stained glass windows.

These are just some examples of modernist architecture in Malaga. There are many more that you can discover if you decide to visit this city.

Modernism arquitecture in Andalucia

The greatest numbers of examples of Modernism are found at cities and towns with beaches. The new composition fit well with the emerging ideas about bathing and hygiene, to the point that Andalusia is identified with the balneario, or bathhouse, style. The tendency can be seen in Almería, Malaga, and Huelva, which have interesting buildings such as the Plaza of Puerta Purchena, the Andalusian Railroad Offices on Paseo Reding, and Dr. Sanz Frutos´clinic, respectively. Nonetheless, the province of Cadiz has a grater urban presence with buildings such as the Mayol home at 34, San Jose Street.

The inland part of the province, in the cities of Cordoba and Seville, are where the more venerable buildings were constructed. In Cordoba, one can be visit the house of Alvarez Cid which now houses the Association of Architects; In Sevilla, the homes built by Aníbal González on Alfonso XII Street, and Luis Montoro street, as well as the Municipal Laboratory by A. Arévalo Martínez, an example of great Catalonian influence. An interesting visit which contemplates the approximation of Andalusian modernism is the Huescar School of Arts and Occupations in the province of Granada.

Plaza de España in Seville

  • The Plaza de España in Seville. It was built between 1928 and 1931 by architect Aníbal González Álvarez-Ossorio for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It has a regionalist style that combines elements from different historical periods such as Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Moorish.

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