MADRID'S Neoclassical Architecture & Monuments * tba

Madrid's most iconic buildings and landmarks date from the neoclassical era.

In this class we will study and analyse the royal neoclassical architectural style and the buildings and monuments that can still be seen in Spain's capital today.

INTRODUCTION by Karla Darocas, Hons. B. A.  (

King Carlos III came to the crown after spending much of his adult life in Naples, Italy, and was therefore heavily influenced by the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. He carried out a series of urban reforms in Madrid, ranging from public lighting to the paving of the streets. These reforms of the capital also had an aesthetic significance. His aim was to bring the capital of Spain, Madrid, up to the aesthetic level of other European cities such as Paris or Saint Petersburg. Spain's neoclassical currents paralleled the rest of Europe with their profound analysis of Greek and Roman classicism, developing interest in archaeology, criticism of tradition and rejection of late Baroque and Rococo. Although the development of Neoclassicism began earlier in other parts of Europe, the first manifestations of the neoclassical genre emerged during the reign of Ferdinand VI (1746-1759). It then flourished under Carlos III (1759-1788) and Carlos IV (1788-1808). For obvious reasons, it took a break during the Peninsular War (1807-1814), but returned with Ferdinand VII (1808-1833). At this point, however, Neoclassicism had to share the limelight with other, newer movements such as Romanticism. In the second half of the 18th century and into the 19th century, the Enlightenment movement provided an ideological, political and artistic renewal, especially in architecture, with Neoclassicism representing a revision of the canon of Greek and Roman mythology.


Resource Books written by
Karla Ingleton Darocas 
and published by