Humanities › Visual Arts See the Best Architecture in Spain Must-See Architecture for Travelers to Spain Share Flipboard Email Print The Roman Aqueducts in Segovia, Spain. Brian Hammonds/Getty Images Visual Arts Architecture Great Buildings An Introduction to Architecture Styles Theory History Famous Architects Famous Houses Skyscrapers Tips For Homeowners Art & Artists By Jackie Craven Art and Architecture Expert Doctor of Arts, University of Albany, SUNY M.S., Literacy Education, University of Albany, SUNY B.A., English, Virginia Commonwealth University Dr. Jackie Craven has over 20 years of experience writing about architecture and the arts. She is the author of two books on home decor and sustainable design. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Jackie Craven Updated July 03, 2019 Think of architecture in Spain and Antoni Gaudí comes to mind. Gaudi may be the most famous Spanish architect dead or alive, but don't forget Santiago Calatrava, designer of the Transportation Hub in Lower Manhattan and his signature bridges in Seville and Dallas, Texas. And what about the Pritzker Laureate, José Rafael Moneo? Oh, and then there was the Roman Empire in Spain. Architecture in Spain is an exotic mix of early Moorish influences, European trends, and surreal modernism. These selected sites link to resources that will help you plan your architecture tour through Spain. Visiting Barcelona This northeast coastal city, capital of the Catalonia region, has become synonymous with Antoni Gaudí. You can't miss his architecture, or the "new" modern buildings going up every year. La Sagrada Familia, the great unfinished cathedral begun by Gaudi in 1882, and La Sagrada Familia school, for the children of the construction workersCasa Vicens, Gaudi's Gothic/Moorish house designed for a Spanish businessmanGuell Palace and Guell Park, Gaudi commissions from patron Eusebi GüellColegio Teresiano, one of Antoni Gaudí's first commissionsCasa Calvet, a rather traditional design for GaudiGaudi-designed wall around Finca Miralles, as wavy and abstract as Frank Gehry's workCasa Batlló, a very colorful remodeling job by Gaudi, is located in Illa de la Discordia or the Block of Discord. This street displays the architecture of Catalan architects Josep Puig (1867-1956), Lluís Domènech i Montaner (1850-1923), and Gaudi (1852-1926).Gaudi's La Pedrera, one of the most famous apartment buildings in the worldMontjuic Communications Tower, design by Spanish-born Santiago Calatrava for the 1992 Summer OlympicsAgbar Tower, French architect Jean Nouvel transformed Gaudi's catenary curveBarcelona Cathedral, the city's Gothic cathedralThe Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and Palau de la Música Catalana, both UNESCO world heritage sites, are designs of the art nouveau architect Lluís Domènech i MontanerHotel Porta Fira, a 2010 hotel designed by Pritzker Laureate Toyo ItoThe Forum Building (Edificio Fórum) designed by Herzog and de Meuron Visiting the Bilbao Area Guggenheim Bilbao, the 1997 museum that made American architect Frank Gehry very famousMetro Station Entrance Enclosure, "Fosterito," a 1995 high-tech train station by English architect Norman Foster If you're visiting Bilbao, take a side trip to Comillas, 90 miles west. Everything you've ever heard about Gaudi architecture may be found in the surreal summer home El Capricho. Visiting the León Area The city of León is roughly between Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela, in the vast Castilla y León region of northern Spain. Casa Botines, one of only three projects Antoni Gaudí built outside Catalonia, is a large, neo-Gothic apartment building.San Miguel de Escalada, a magical medieval monastary from the 9th century, a short drive from León near the famous pilgrimage route, Way of St. James. If you're traveling from León southeast to Madrid, stop by the Church of San Juan Bautista, Baños de Cerrato near the city of Palencia. Well-reserved from 661 AD, the church is a fine example of what is called Visigothic architecture—an era when nomadic tribes dominated the Iberian peninsula. Closer to Madrid is Salamanca. The Old City of Salamanca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rich in historic architecture, UNESCO sites its importance in "Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance, and Baroque monuments." If you're headed north from León, the ancient capital city of Oviedo is home to many early Christian churches. These Pre-Romanesque Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias from the 9th century are UNESCO World Heritage sites, along with La Foncalada, a public water supply, an early example of civil engineering. Visiting Santiago de Compostela City of Culture of Galicia, an ongoing project headed by Peter EisenmanCathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a pilgrim's destination at the end of the Way of St. James Visiting Valencia City of Arts and Sciences, a complex of educational buildings by Santiago Calatrava Visiting the Madrid Area The Monastery at El Escorial, in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 35 miles northwest of Madrid, is a UNESCO world heritage site for its historic association with royaltyCaixaForum, a Madrid museum by Swiss architects Herzog and de MeuronRoman aqueduct, 50 AD, in Segovia, northwest of Madrid Visiting the Seville Area Alcazar PalaceAlamillo Bridge Córdoba, about 90 miles northeast of Seville, is site to the Great Mosque of Cordoba in the Historic Centre of Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Mosque/Cathedral "is an architectural hybrid," claims UNESCO, "that joins together many of the artistic values of East and West and includes elements hitherto unheard-of in Islamic religious architecture, including the use of double arches to support the roof." Visiting Granada Ornamentation at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Sean Gallup/Getty Images (cropped) Travel east of Seville a mere 150 miles to experience the Alhambra Palace, a tourist's destination not to be missed. Our Cruise expert has been to Alhambra Palace and our Spain Travel expert has been to The Alhambra in Granada. In Spanish language, visit La Alhambra, Granada. It seems that everyone has been there! Visiting Zaragoza About 200 miles west of Barcelona, you'll find a pedestrian bridge over the Ebro River designed in 2008 by Pritzker Laureate Zaha Hadid. This modern bridge stands in stark contrast with the historic architecture of this ancient city.