The term Churrigueresque is used to classify the most elaborate and ornamental style of Spanish architecture from 1675 to 1750. The term was named after the Churriguera family. Jose Benito de Churriguera was an architect and sculptor from Madrid. Although the style was named after the Churriguera family, the origins of this style can be traced back to Alonso Cano. He was a painter and sculptor and the true pioneer of the highly ornamental style of Spanish art of the 17th century. He is responsible for the design the façade of the cathedral at Granada in 1667.
Example of an Estipite Column
The architects from this style used architectural forms to create dramatic contrasts of lines and surfaces. In addition to the obvious lavish ornamentation, the use of broken pediments, undulating cornices, reversed volutes, and balustrades, create a very theatrical surface. The Churrigueresque column, also known as the estipite, the shape of an inverted triangle. This feature became the central element in this style. The façade of the cathedral at Murcia is a great example of this style.
Cathedral at Murcia