Spain’s architecture presents one of the broadest and richest testimonies in Europe to thousands of years of building ingenuity. The journey starts with the simple stone housing of the Celtiberian tribes, but Spain’s long Islamic history is where the real story begins. The fusion of Middle Eastern and European aesthetics is unique in Europe: the Moorish heyday produced extravagant masterpieces, while after the Reconquista, architects reacted strongly against Islamic styles with austere Romanesque structures. Meanwhile, others slyly integrated them, as in the case of Mozarabic and Mudéjar designs. The love of ornament carried on well into the Renaissance, when Spanish designers developed the ornate plateresque style, which in turn paved the way for the staggering confections of the baroque period. In the late 19th century, Modernista geniuses in Barcelona pushed walls and ceilings into all-new shapes, a process continued by Spain’s ground-breaking contemporary architects.