Modernist Architecture - Modernist Alicante

casa brujasBased in Cataluña, the Modernisme movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was a cultural movement aiming to totally revamp Catalán ideas and culture. Feeling that Cataluña was lagging behind other European cultures, individualistic and anti-traditionalist intellectuals, writers and artists sparked this movement for which the region- particularly Barcelona- is famous.

The movement's architectural branch- led by Barcelona's famed architect Antoni Gaudí- falls under the artistic category of "Art Nouveau" (New Art). Borrowing and embellishing characteristics associated with Moorish and Gothic architectural, its signature elements include the favoring of curves over straight lines, rich decoration, asymmetry, dynamic shapes, repeated designs and organic motiffs like trees, rocks, fruits, vegetables, etc. While based in Cataluña, Modernisme did manage to leak out to the neighboring Valencian community. In Alicante, look for the Casa de las Brujas (House of Witches)- now the Valencian Autonomous Government Headquartesr- and the fountain in the Plaza de Luceros, both of which flawlessly illustrate what Moderniste architecture is all about.