The catholic monarchs of Spain were also known as their ruling King & Queens. The first of the monarchy's royalty was established with the 1469 marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, leading to the unification of Spain. With the Reconquista in 1492 establishing the Spanish national identity, imperial Spain began to create grand monuments and buildings to symbolize their newly consolidated nation. With monuments built at the command of the Queen in the Isabelline style, Italianate decorative elements were combined with Iberian traditional elements and Gothic embellishments. Gothic elements are highlighted by pinnacles, pointed arches and flying buttresses. In the early 1500’s, the Isabelline decorative style evolved, and Spanish architecture began to be influenced in form and structure by Renaissance ideas.
Beaux Arts Style
The Beaux Arts style is classical in nature with Greek and Roman forms inspired by teachings in the 17th century École de Beaux Arts. The era of “fine arts” reflected the wealth and affluence accumulated during the Industrial Revolution. While steeped in the principles of French neoclassicism, the style incorporates both Gothic and Renaissance elements and uses modern materials, such as iron and glass, within its design. It was an important style in France until the end of the 19th century, popularized in North America beginning in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Many prominent American architects who studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, influenced buildings abroad. While the style was popular in Europe across many buildings, it became the default style of architecture for banks and train stations in North America.