Last updated
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Churrigueresque Obradoiro facade Santiago GDFL catedral 050318 43.jpg
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Churrigueresque Obradoiro façade
Basilica and Convent of Nuestra Senora de la Merced, Lima Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Merced. Lima, Peru.jpg
Basilica and Convent of Nuestra Señora de la Merced, Lima

Churrigueresque ( /ˌʊərɪɡəˈrɛsk/ ; Spanish: Churrigueresco), in a lesser extent it was also called "Ultra Baroque", refers to a Spanish Baroque style of elaborate sculptural architectural ornament which emerged as a manner of stucco decoration in Spain in the late 17th century and was used up to about 1750, marked by extreme, expressive and florid decorative detailing, normally found above the entrance on the main facade of a building.



Named after the architect and sculptor, José Benito de Churriguera (1665–1725), who was born in Madrid and who worked primarily in Madrid and Salamanca, the origins of the style are said to go back to an architect and sculptor named Alonso Cano, who designed the facade of the cathedral at Granada, in 1667.

A distant, early 15th century precursor of the highly elaborate Churrigueresque style can be found in the Lombard Charterhouse of Pavia, yet the sculpture-encrusted facade still has the Italianate appeal to rational narrative. Churrigueresque appeals to the proliferative geometry and it is an intense evolution of Baroque, influenced by the same Baroque.


The development of the style passed through three phases. Between 1680 and 1720, the Churriguera popularized Guarino Guarini's blend of Solomonic columns and composite order, known as "supreme order". Between 1720 and 1760, the Churrigueresque column, or estipite, in the shape of an inverted cone or obelisk, was established as a central element of ornamental decoration. The years from 1760 to 1780 saw a gradual shift of interest away from twisted movement and excessive ornamentation towards neoclassical balance and sobriety.

Among the highlights of the style, interiors of the Granada Charterhouse offer some of the most impressive combinations of space and light in 18th-century Europe. Integrating sculpture and architecture even more radically, Narciso Tomé achieved striking chiaroscuro effects in his Transparente for the Toledo Cathedral. Perhaps the most visually intoxicating form of the style was Mexican Churrigueresque, practised in the mid-18th century by Lorenzo Rodriguez, whose masterpiece is the Sagrario Metropolitano (1749–69) in Mexico City, New Spain.


The first of the Churriguera was José Benito de Churriguera (1665–1725), who trained as a joiner of altarpieces, drawing some very important for various churches of Salamanca, Madrid, Valladolid and other cities in Spain. Some in Spain have gone and some remain only a sites:


In Mexico, the Cathedral Basilica of Zacatecas, Zacatecas, capital of Zacatecas state, and the Templo de Santa Prisca, located in Taxco, Guerrero state are considered as masterpieces of Churrigueresque style. The building of Parroquia Antigua in Salamanca, Guanajuato, founded on August 24, 1603, was completed in the year 1690, and the Churrigueresque facade in 1740. The altarpiece of the church of San Francisco Javier (National Museum of Viceroyalty) in Tepotzotlán, State of Mexico is also considered, along with its facade, one of the most important baroque churrigueresque works created by the Jesuits in New Spain. The Altar de los Reyes of the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral and the facades of the Sagrario Metropolitano, by the Spanish architect Lorenzo Rodriguez. which is attached to the same Cathedral, are also representatives of the style.

The Philippines

It was late introduced in the Philippines. The best examples were the San Juan de dios Hospital in Intramuros, Daraga Church in Albay, and Tigbauan Church in Iloilo.

California Churrigueresque

The Casa del Prado Theater, at Balboa Park, San Diego, California. Churrigueresque Revival. Balboa Park Theater.JPG
The Casa del Prado Theater, at Balboa Park, San Diego, California. Churrigueresque Revival.

California Churrigueresque [1] [2] is a revival style native to California, developed in the early 20th century by architects Bertram Goodhue and Carleton Winslow Sr. for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, which helped popularize its use in Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in California, and to a lesser extent the rest of the United States. Goodhue and Winslow developed the style after studying Churrigueresque and Plateresque ornamentation in Spanish Colonial buildings in Mexico.

Many of the best examples of California Churrigeresque are located in Balboa Park in San Diego, the site of the Panama-California Exposition. Other notable buildings in this style include San Francisco's Mission Dolores Basilica, the First Congregational Church of Riverside, Los Angeles's St. Vincent de Paul Church, and Beverly Hills City Hall. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

Baroque Artistic style in Europe and colonies, c. 1600–1750

The Baroque is a style of architecture, music, dance, painting, sculpture and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1740s. In the territories of the Spanish and Portuguese empires including the Iberian Peninsula it continued, together with new styles, until the first decade of the 1800s. It followed Renaissance art and Mannerism and preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles. It was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture, art and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well.

Zacatecas City City in Zacatecas, Mexico

Zacatecas is the principal city within the municipality in Mexico of the same name, and the capital and the largest city of the state of Zacatecas. Located in north-central Mexico, the city had its start as a Spanish mining camp in the mid-16th century. Native Americans had already known about the area's rich deposits of silver and other minerals. Due to the wealth that the mines provided, Zacatecas quickly became one of the most important cities in New Spain, with much of its silver enriching the Spanish crown. The area saw battles during the turbulent 19th century, but the next major event was the Battle of Zacatecas during the Mexican Revolution when Francisco Villa captured the town, an event still celebrated every anniversary. Today, the colonial part of the city is a World Heritage Site, due to the Baroque and other structures built during its mining days. Mining still remains an important industry. The name Zacatecas is derived from the Zacateco people and has its roots in Nahuatl. The name means "people of the grasslands".

Baroque architecture Building style of the Baroque era

Baroque architecture is a highly decorative and theatrical style which appeared in Italy in the early 17th century and gradually spread across Europe. It was originally introduced by the Catholic Church, particularly by the Jesuits, as a means to combat the Reformation and the Protestant church with a new architecture that inspired surprise and awe. It reached its peak in the High Baroque (1625–1675), when it was used in churches and palaces in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, and Austria. In the Late Baroque period (1675–1750), it reached as far as Russia and the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Latin America, Beginning in about 1730, an even more elaborately decorative variant called Rococo appeared and flourished in Central Europe.

The Spanish Colonial Revival Style is an architectural stylistic movement arising in the early 20th century based on the Spanish Colonial architecture of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.


Plateresque, meaning "in the manner of a silversmith", was an artistic movement, especially architectural, developed in Spain and its territories, which appeared between the late Gothic and early Renaissance in the late 15th century, and spread over the next two centuries. It is a modification of Gothic spatial concepts and an eclectic blend of Mudéjar, Flamboyant Gothic and Lombard decorative components, as well as Renaissance elements of Tuscan origin.

The Churriguera family consisted of at least two generations of Spanish sculptors and architects, originally from Barcelona, but who had their greatest impact in Salamanca. The highly decorated Churrigueresque style of architectural construction is named after the family.

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral Church in Mexico City, Mexico

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven is the cathedral church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico. It is situated atop the former Aztec sacred precinct near the Templo Mayor on the northern side of the Plaza de la Constitución (Zócalo) in Downtown Mexico City. The cathedral was built in sections from 1573 to 1813 around the original church that was constructed soon after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan, eventually replacing it entirely. Spanish architect Claudio de Arciniega planned the construction, drawing inspiration from Gothic cathedrals in Spain.

Spanish Baroque architecture Architecture of the Baroque era in Spain and its former colonies

Spanish Baroque is a strand of Baroque architecture that evolved in Spain, its provinces, and former colonies.

Granada Charterhouse

Granada Charterhouse is a Carthusian monastery in Granada, Spain. It is one of the finest examples of Spanish Baroque architecture.

Spanish architecture Architecture of buildings in Spain

Spanish architecture refers to architecture in any area of what is now Spain, and by Spanish architects worldwide. The term includes buildings which were constructed within the current borders of Spain prior to its existence as a nation, when the land was called Iberia, Hispania, Al-Andalus or was divided between several Christian and Muslim kingdoms. Drawing from many different sources, Spanish architecture demonstrates great historical and geographical diversity. Spanish architecture tended to develop along similar lines as other architectural styles around the Mediterranean and from Northern Europe.

José Benito de Churriguera Spanish architect

José Benito de Churriguera was a Spanish architect, sculptor and urbanist of the late-Baroque or Rococo style. He was born in Madrid to a Catalan cabinetmaker, gilder and altarpiece joiner, Josep Simó Xoriguera i Elies and to doña Maria de Ocaña, and studied under his father along with two of his brothers.

Ventura Rodríguez

Ventura Rodríguez Tizón was a Spanish architect and artist. Born at Ciempozuelos, Rodríguez was the son of a bricklayer. In 1727, he collaborated with his father in the work at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez.

Architecture of Mexico Overview of the architecture in Mexico

Many of Mexico's older architectural structures, including entire sections of Pre-Hispanic and colonial cities, have been designated World Heritage sites for their historical and artistic significance. The country has the largest number of sites declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in the Americas.

Museo Nacional del Virreinato

The Museo Nacional del Virreinato is located in the former College of San Francisco Javier complex in Tepotzotlán, Mexico State, Mexico.

Pedro de Ribera Spanish architect

Pedro de Ribera was a Spanish architect of the Baroque period.

Convento de San Esteban, Salamanca

The Convento de San Esteban is a Dominican monastery situated in the Plaza del Concilio de Trento in the city of Salamanca.

Valladolid Cathedral

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Assumption, better known as Valladolid Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic church in Valladolid, Spain. The main layout was designed by Juan de Herrera in a Renaissance-style.

Peruvian colonial architecture

The Peruvian colonial architecture, developed in the Viceroyalty of Peru between the 16th and 19th centuries, was characterized by the importation and adaptation of European architectural styles to the Peruvian reality, yielding an original architecture.

California Quadrangle United States historic place

The California Quadrangle, California Building, and California Tower are historic structures located in Balboa Park in San Diego, California. They were built for the 1915–16 Panama-California Exposition and served as the grand entry to the Expo. The buildings and courtyard were designed by architect Bertram Goodhue. They were added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 17, 1974. They now house the Museum of Us.

Church of San Idelfonso, Toledo

The Church of San Ildefonso is a Baroque style church located in the historic center of the city of Toledo, in Castile-La Mancha, Spain. It is also known as the Jesuit church and is consecrated to Saint Ildefonso of Toledo, patron of the city and Father of the Church.


  1. "Cultural Resources of the City of San José" (PDF). City of San José . Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  2. Dinkelspiel Cerny, Susan (2007). An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area. Gibbs Smith. p. 209. ISBN   978-1586854324.
  3. LA Curbed - Beverly Hills Landmarking 1932 Churrigueresque City Hall