This is true of architecture, but it is equally the case with the literature that sprung in parallel with the culture that produced it as a reflection (in both meanings of the word) of the reality of its time.Intrinsically, the distinction between popular and high-brow culture, which emerges with the question "what is culture? A good example of this proximity can be found in the characteristics of Spanish architecture.Dating all the way back to Roman times, there are still perfectly solid examples of buildings as ancient as 2000 years old.
Is culture what people do on a daily basis, namely, live?
Or is culture, rather, a lofty expression of the more sophisticated and complex ideas developed by the intellectual elite of any given society?
Whether you advocate for the supremacy of high-brow culture, or consider it to be constituted by every aspect of interaction within a social compound, in Spain you will find myriad examples of both kinds, forming a rich and diverse phenomenon.
The fascinating mosaic formed by the cultural differences found from region to region across the country extends far beyond matters of eating habits and dress code, however.
From in Galicia, from sherry in the region between Jerez and Cádiz, to the sweet wine from Málaga, somewhat similar to port wine from Oporto, the various traditions that have defined each of the regions permeate deeply to every aspect of Spanish culture, from what digestive to follow your meal with, to the style and material used to erect buildings in the area.
And then, from Roman to Romanesque, Gothic, Mudéjar, Renaissance and every artistic style to emerge thereafter, Spanish architecture has been shaped as much by aesthetic considerations as it has been by the specific conditions prevalent in the country.Thus, the emergence of red brick in the region around León as the material of choice in the construction, not only of regular homes but also of official and even religious buildings owed less to taste than to necessity.From the most ordinary habits, such as the variety of dishes that together form a mouthwatering cuisine, to the institutional support for the artistic establishment, Spain holds a surprise around every corner.Ranging from the largely simple and straightforward characteristics of a Mediterranean diet, with plenty of fresh produce from land and sea, to the ingenuity of a number of recipes from the rustic center of the country, such as roast piglet or the famous , to the crafty use of offal throughout the land, Spanish culture is hugely heterogeneous, due both to geographic as well as historical circumstances.Similarly, the development of adobe as a viable building material shaped the landscape of the countryside indelibly, much in the same way as the tendencies arrived from the Frankish counties on the other side of the Pyrenees spread from coast to coast and ultimately determined the triumph of Romanesque architecture.Spectacular as it is, Spanish architecture is indebted in equal measure to circumstances of daily life, such as the coexistence of Muslim, Christian and Hebrew communities, and to the conscious development of aesthetic ideals.