SPAIN. The hybrid Byzantine-Moresco-Basili cal architecture current in the Christian parts of Spain was beginning to be superseded by a Romanesque style of great dignity, borrowed from the South and West of France, when the French architects who were introducing it felt the first inroads of the Early Gothic style; that of Saint Germer, tempered by the Cistercian sim plicity. The old Cathedral of Salamanca (close of twelfth century), with its heavy proportions but genuine Gothic vaulting, shows in certain features, especially in its magnificent dome, an original interpretation of Gothic principles. San Vincente at Avila, the Abbey Church at Veruela, and the cathedrals of Lerida, Tudela, and espe cially Tarragona, belong to the same period and style of heavy transition from Romanesque to Gothic. This group is as effective, well-composed, and imposing as any in Europe of this time. But we do not see the links that connect it with the developed Gothic of Burgos, Toledo, Leon, Valencia, and Barcelona cathedrals, built in the thirteenth century, because this style was not an indigenous outcome of the older buildings, but was brought straight from France. These and other buildings of less importance are so closely reproductions of the lvst French models—espe cially of the cathedrals of Amiens and Rheims— as to make Spanish Gothic second only to French in its purity and consistency. Even in the rich sculpture decoration French models are closely followed, though the round arch is re tained quite late in the main portals. Perhaps
Burgos presents on the whole the richest and most artistic exterior, as to towers, facade, and general composition. The unity of style was sadly disturbed in the fourteenth and succeeding centuries. English, German, Southern French, Italian, and Flemish elements were introduced, all more or less deviating from true Gothic de sign, and, worst of all, the national passion for rich decoration led to the infiltration of Moorish ornament and details. Of this late and sur charged phase of Gothic architecture the mon astery of Belem and the mausoleum of Manoel II. at Batalha, in Portugal, are the finest examples. Some of the Spanish churches are immense. The Toledo Cathedral was already one of the largest in Europe, but Seville Cathedral, begun in 1401, was the largest medieval structure, measuring 415 X 298 feet. The lateness of Gothic sway is shown in the new Cathedral of Salamanca, built between 1510 and 1560, while the Renais sance was forcing its way into the country.
Consult: Street, Gothic Architecture in Spain (London, 1865) ; Junghiindel and Gurlitt, Die Baukunst Spanicns (Dresden, 1891 - 93), with photographic illustrations; Monumentos argui tectonicos de Espana, in course of publication by the Spanish Government.