Why I Need Medieval Architecture

I grew up here.

Ok, it wasn’t quite like that but pretty close.  And when I was a teenager I began to have the typical teen angst, feeling isolated and detached. In high school, I was fortunate enough to travel to Spain.

First stop was the Plaza Mayor in Madrid.

and then Sol, the center of Madrid .

I realized that there was something different and unique about the Spanish culture but I couldn’t put a finger on it. I promised myself at the time that would return to study during university. Five years later I found myself living in Sevilla.


I came to the realization that architecture determines how we spend our day and how we interact. I learned that a society based on a human-scale, medieval architecture connects people in way that is impossible in a society designed around the car, which is most of the USA and Canada. DeTocqueville worried that Americans would become atomized, alienated from each other and the political process. DeTocqueville was speaking figuratively but it’s a physical reality, a result of a society designed around the car.  Because of this I have been returning to Spain for 35 years. My favorite way to experience the medieval architecture is biking through the pueblos of Northern Spain. Maybe you, too, need a dose of medieval architecture?!?