The patio from the castle at Vélez Blanco, near Almeria, is a jewel of early sixteenth-century Spanish architecture. Its structure reflects the Spanish taste of its architect in the asymmetrical layout, Gothic gargoyles, flat-timbered ceilings, and low, segmental arches. Carvers from northern Italy executed the decorative Renaissance details. A sumptuous array of fanciful flora and fauna appears on the spandrels and intrados of the arches, the piers of the balustrade, and the doors and windows. Though elaborate, the motifs preserve the clarity of form, the naturalism, and the three-dimensional quality that were characteristic of the early Italian Renaissance and proved so influential.