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Visigothic Pre-Romanesque architecture (Spain and Portugal 415-711)

Saint Frutuoso Chapel in Braga, Portugal San Pedro de la Nave from the southwest. San Cugat del Vallés, Barcelona,
San Juan de Baños de Cerrato (Palencia) Santa María de Melque (Toledo)  
Visigothic art and architecture

The Visigoths entered Hispania (modern Spain and Portugal) in 415, and they rose to be the dominant people there until the Moorish invasion of 711 brought their kingdom to an end.

This period in Iberian art is dominated by their style. Visigothic art is generally considered in the English-speaking world to be a strain of Migration art, while the Portuguese and Spanish-speaking worlds generally classify it as Pre-Romanesque.

Branches of Visigothic art include their architecture, their crafts (especially jewellery), and even their script.

Visigothic architecture

The only remaining examples of their architecture from the sixth century are the church of San Cugat del Vallés in Barcelona, Saint Frutuoso Chapel in (Braga, the church of S.Gião (Nazaré) and the few remnants of the church at Cabeza de Griego, Cuenca. However, their style developed over the next centuries, though the prime remaining examples of it are mostly rural and often run-down. Some of the characteristics of their architecture are:

Generally basilican in layout, sometimes a Greek cross plan or, more rarely, a combination of the two. The spaces are highly compartmentalised.

Horseshoe arches without keystones.
A rectangular, exterior apse.
Use of columns and pillars with Corinthian capitals of unique design.
Barrel vaults with cupolas at the crosses.
Walls of ashlar blocks, occasionally alternating with Roman brickwork.
Decoration commonly of animal or plant motifs.

Examples include:
San Juan de Baños de Cerrato (Palencia)
Cripta de San Antolín de Palencia
San Pedro de la Mata (Toledo)
Santa Comba de Bande (Orense)
San Pedro de la Nave (Zamora)
Santa María de Quintanilla de las Viñas (Burgos)
Santa María de Melque (Toledo)
São Gião (Nazaré)