The XXth century brought a touch of cosmopolitanism and the search for a thrilled modernity in Melilla. The cyclopean geometries of its old fortress yielded to the wild vibrations of Art Nouveau buildings, the curves of their façades and their balconies, as well as the color range of their mouldings and decorative productions of local crafts. Melilla became then, thanks to the architect Enrique Nieto, one of the main Spanish cities which can boast about possessing an Art Nouveau heritage as vast and of such quality. The city probably constitutes the epicentrer of this style for all of North Africa. The style of this architect deploys on number of façades of the city; its ability to absorb its environment and achieve to synthesise it in a personal creation of very high quality is Nieto’s main characteristic. He reinterpreted all the Art Nouveau trends that can be imagined, and the result is simply splendid. Buildings like “La Reconquista”, the “Military store”, the “Building Melul”, the “Vicente Martinez House” and many others only form a small sample of more than 300 Art Nouveau buildings in Melilla. In this city a whole creative environment was introduced, encouraging other architects or engineers to develop Art Nouveau within its new town centre as well as in other areas. Thus Emilio Alzugaray, Francisco Carcaño or José de la Gándara are also important creators.

Art Nouveau in Melilla spreads with strength and stretches largely over time, with evolutions going from the original vegetal inspiration towards the step of geometrical modulations of the Viennese Secession until the Art Déco period, another chapter of its artistic history. This building complex is characterized by the originality, the dare of the design and a will of urban creation, the one of a city in an aesthetically pleasing city, proud of this heritage for a future which has now become the present of its inhabitants.

Present, which has become a moment of contemplation of this building complex received from previous generations, is also the present of responsibility, of the necessity to protect it and to make it transmitted to new generations. For that reason, this city marked by Art Nouveau is now listed as “Historical monument” and uses this reference of preservation as a tool generating culture and economic activity; above all, Melilla’s inhabitants become holders of a unique heritage which is mainly unwittingly used serves as a frame, for the wealth of their own future.

Image artist function date
Enrique Nieto Y Nieto architect 1880-1954
Emilio Alzugaray Goicoechea architect 1880-?
Francisco Carcano Mas architect & military engineer 1886-1936
Droctoveo Castañónon Reguera architect & military engineer 1871-?
José De La Gandara Cividanes architect & military engineer 1880-?
Luis Garcia Alix Fernandez architect & engineer ?
Enrique Alvarez Martinez architect & military engineer 1887-?
Fernando Guerrero Stracham architect 1879-?
Francisco Hernanz Martinez architect 1897-?
Mauricio Jalvo Millan architect 1867-?
Tomás Moreno Lazaro architect & military engineer 1880-1930
Juan Nolla Badia architect & military engineer 1875-?
Cover Author Description date Link
Antonio Bravo Nieto La construcción de una ciudad europea en el contexto norteafricano. Arquitectos e ingenieros en la Melilla Contemporánea

Ciudad Autónoma-Universidad de Málaga, Melilla-Málaga ISBN: 84-87291-67-8 / 84-87291-68-6
Antonio Bravo Nieto La ciudad de Melilla y sus autores. Diccionario biográfico de arquitectos e ingenieros, finales del siglo XIX y primera mitad del XX

Ciudad Autónoma, Melilla ISBN: 84-87291-81-3
Antonio Bravo Nieto y Dionisio Hinojo Sanchez Catálogo de Arquitectura de Melilla. 1895-1961

Consejería de Fomento, Melilla ISBN: 84-606-3547-3
Antonio Bravo Nieto Modernismo y Art Déco en la arquitectura de Melilla

Bellaterra, Barcelona ISBN: 978-84-7290-428-6
Salvador Gallego Aranda Enrique Nieto en Melilla. La ciudad proyectada

UNED-Universidad de Granada, Melilla-Granada ISBN: 84 338 2261 6
Salvador Gallego Aranda Enrique Nieto (1880-1954). Biografía de un arquitecto

Fundación Melilla Ciudad Monumental, Melilla ISBN: 84 609 8889 9
Antonio Bravo Nieto y Juan Antonio Bellver Garrido et al. Catálogo de monumentos, placas, conjuntos ornamentales y heráldica de Melilla.
Fundación Melilla Ciudad Monumental, Melilla ISBN: 978-84-613-2646-4
Salvador Gallego Aranda Enrique Nieto, un paseo por su arquitectura

Fundación Melilla Ciudad Monumental, Melilla ISBN: 978 84 96101 89 0
Juan Bassegoda Nonell "L'arquitecte modernista Enric Nieto i la ciutat de Melilla"
Scientific articles
in Temple, nº 120
Rosario Camacho Martinez "El eclecticismo en la arquitectura religiosa de Melilla"
Scientific articles
in Boletín de Arte, nº 2
Antonio Bravo Nieto "La imagen de una ciudad y la memoria escrita: aproximación bibliográfica a la arquitectura de Melilla"
Scientific articles
in El Vigía de Tierra, Revista de Publicaciones, nº 1
Salvador Gallego Aranda "Arquitectura y comercio: "La Reconquista""
Scientific articles
in Cuadernos de Arte de la Universidad de Granada, nº 27

Fundacion Melilla Ciudad Monumental 
Calle Miguel Acosta, 13
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E – 52001 Melilla
Phone: +34 952 97 62 01
Fax: +34 952 97 62 02

Local Partner:
Ciudad Autonoma de Melilla
Facebook page of the Fundacion Melilla Ciudad Monumental
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Publications about Modernismo in Melilla