THE renowned editor of El Pais’s travel supplement Andres Rubio claims ill thought out overdevelopment has ruined Spain in his controversial new book ‘España Fea’ or ‘Ugly Spain’.

He claims that decades of poor urban planning have ruined much of the country’s urban landscape.

This may come as a shock to residents of Spain, the country that is home to world heritage sites rivalled by few on the continent, if not the world.

But for Rubio, the country has gone through a ‘cultural catastrophe’

He claims Spanish politicians have given little thought on how to grow cities and villages in a way that protects cultural heritage.

Intempo Building
The Edificio Intempo building in Benidorm divides opinion.
Photo: Wikipedia

“Spain is ugly. It is very hard to say, but that’s how it is,” he says.

Despite his bold claims, Rubio’s book has been fairly well received.

“People see this as a very important issue in Spain. If you destroy a landscape, you end up destroying part of our memory.”

He is most critical of the fishing villages on the Costa del Sol, which he says have been chronically overdeveloped and describes Benidorm’s newly built Intempo skyscraper – the tallest residential building in Europe – as ‘hideous’.

The author used twitter to invite people to nominated the ugliest building in Spain.

However, Rubio also cites some model examples such as the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela which has built a reputation for rejecting new build projects that do not align with its rustic aesthetic.


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