Let the traveller not think that to see one is to see them all. One rnust visit, explore and absorb all the visible and invisible details of each one of them. Their diversity is such that what they seem to have in comrnon does not look alike. The constructive and vital pragmatism of tbe centuries, essentially useful for daily life, makes for a beautiful game of discovering the remains and spaces that live together with each moment's rationality.
|What do Salamanca's Baroque Tawn Hall
and the cathedral of Compostela's Obradoiro façade have
in common? May we establish a relationship between the pure style in Ávila's Santa Teresa Convent and the same multicoloured work in
Segovia's Santo Domingo Grotto? May some of the San
Francisco Javier retable's reasonances in Cáceres be
perceived in the Baroque arch of Toledo's Alcántara
bridge or in the Córdoba's retables? Where to find an
early gothic sample other than in Cuenca? All
of these questions will receive contradictory answers. The same style, the same fashion,
aesthetic canons prescribed at tbe same time, all awaken in each cities with different
characters. Only the traveller's forewarned spirit will know how to conjugate them, relate
them, enrich himself with them.
The traveller will be told that Toledo is, at the same time, Mozarabic, Gothic and Plateresque; that Salamanca is Plateresque and Baroque; that Cordoba is Arabic and Mudejar; that Compostela is Baroque and Romanic; that Ávila is Romanic, Gothic, Arabic and Roman; Cuenca is gothic and baroque; and that Segovia is Roman and Romanic; but do not believe it with your feet together. Discover it step by step and do not stop at the museum-like, classifying, and defining labels. Because you will also find that Toledo is green and baked clay; Salamanca, golden silver and bullfighting; Córdoba, hot and fresh; Compostela, light and shadows; Ávila, cold and maternal; Cáceres, lime and tile; Cuenca, rock and filigree work; and Segovia, graded and flat. Do not resign yourself -thousands of descriptions more exist.