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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #1
rahim.katchi
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Moorish architecture in Europe

Moorish architecture is a term used to describe the articulated Islamic architecture which developed in North Africa and south-western Europe, especially the Iberian Peninsula, where Islamic civilisation came into contact with Berber, Greco-Roman, Visigothic and other traditions.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #2
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Alhambra

The Alhambra's Moorish palaces were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain and its court, of the Nasrid dynasty.

It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country's most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the inspiration for many songs and stories.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #3
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Completed towards the end of Muslim rule of Spain by Yusuf I (1333–1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353–1391), the Alhambra is a reflection of the culture of the last centuries of the Moorish rule of Al Andalus, reduced to the Nasrid Emirate of Granada. It is a place where artists and intellectuals had taken refuge as the Reconquista by Spanish Christians won victories over Al Andalus. The Alhambra integrates natural site qualities with constructed structures and gardens, and is a testament to Moorish culture in Spain and the skills of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian artisans, craftsmen, and builders of their era.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:46 PM   #4
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The literal translation of Alhambra, "red fortress," reflects the color of the red clay of the surroundings of which the fort is made. The buildings of the Alhambra were originally whitewashed; however, the buildings seen today are reddish.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #5
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It's an absolutely stunning architectural style. Rivaling other styles as "Gothic" or "Classical" or "Baroque." The term in Spanish is "Mudejar" for the architecture.

Another less well-known monument is the Aljaferia in Zaragoza, where the Aragonese regional assembly meets. Gorgeous!



Just like there was "Neo-Gothic" and "Neo-Classical," there was a Neo-Mudejar movement global movement globally and in Spain that sought inspiration in places like the Alhambra. Produced some stunning work like the Plaza de Toros of Madrid:

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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:52 PM   #6
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The design included plans for six palaces, five of which were grouped in the northeast quadrant forming a royal quarter, two circuit towers, and numerous bathhouses. During the reign of the Nasrid Dynasty, the Alhambra was transformed into a palatine city, complete with an irrigation system composed of acequias for the gardens of the Generalife located outside the fortress.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #7
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Previously, the old Alhambra structure had been dependent upon rainwater collected from a cistern and from what could be brought up from the Albaicín. The creation of the Sultan's Canal solidified the identity of the Alhambra as a palace-city rather than a defensive and ascetic structure.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #8
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The decorations within the palaces typified the remains of Moorish dominion within Spain and ushered in the last great period of Andalusian art in Granada.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #9
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With little influence from the Islamic mainland, artists endlessly reproduced the same forms and trends, creating a new style that developed over the course of the Nasrid Dynasty. The Nasrids used freely all the display of stylistical resorts that had been created and developed during eight centuries of Muslim rule in the Peninsula as the Calliphal horse-shoe arch, the Almohad sebka or the Almoravid palm, and unused combinations of them, beside novelties as the stilted arches and the capitals of muqarnas, among others. The isolation with the rest of the Islam, and the commercial and political relationship with the Christian kingdoms also influenced in the space concepts.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:08 PM   #10
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Columns, muqarnas and stalactite-like ceiling decorations, appear in several chambers, and the interiors of numerous palaces are decorated with arabesques and calligraphy. The arabesques of the interior are ascribed, among other kings, to Yusuf I, Mohammed V, and Ismail I.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #11
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Moorish poets described it as "a pearl set in emeralds," in allusion to the colour of its buildings and the woods around them. The palace complex was designed with the mountainous site in mind and many forms of technology were considered.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:22 PM   #12
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Alhambra was added onto by the different Muslim rulers who lived in the complex. However, each new section that was added followed the consistent theme of "paradise on earth."

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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #13
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Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional complexity. In every case, the exterior is left plain and austere. Sun and wind are freely admitted. Blue, red and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colors chiefly employed.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:29 PM   #14
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The decoration consists, as a rule, of stiff, conventional foliage, Arabic inscriptions, and geometrical patterns wrought into arabesques. Painted tiles are largely used as panelling for the walls.

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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #15
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The palace complex is designed in the Mudéjar style which is characteristic of western elements reinterpreted into Islamic forms and largely popular during the Reconquista, a period of history in which the Christian kings reconquered Spain from the Muslims.

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Old October 10th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #16
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Useless propaganda. There is nothing between morrocco, pakistan and indonesia, so a civilization is a pure invention. Like we say "if you don't have a lot of butter, don't need to spread it out."
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Old October 10th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #17
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"On a hill overlooking Granada, the Alhambra—a sprawling palace-citadel that comprised royal residential quarters, court complexes flanked by official chambers, a bath, and a mosque—was begun in the thirteenth century by Ibn al-Ahmar, founder of the Nasrid dynasty, and was continued by his successors in the fourteenth century. Its most celebrated portions—a series of courtyards surrounded by rooms—present a varied repetoire of Moorish arched, columnar, and domical forms. The romantic imagination of centuries of visitors has been captivated by the special combination of the slender columnar arcades, fountains, and light-reflecting water basins found in those courtyards—the Lion Court in particular; this combination is understood from inscriptions to be a physical realization of descriptions of Paradise in Islamic poetry."

— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p219.

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Old October 10th, 2010, 07:24 AM   #18
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The numerous pools and aquifer-lined stairwells all receive their water from the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. The Moors, after the severe aridity of North Africa, must have thought this region of Spain a true paradise on Earth. Their focus on water as a form of decoration tells much of their respect for its life-giving properties. All in all, the Alhambra is an unusual example in the final European stages, with influences that combine and create one of the most impressive citadels in Western Europe.

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Old October 10th, 2010, 07:33 AM   #19
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As is typical of Moorish architecture, the palace ’s facade is both imposing and utilitarian. Step within the walls though and you’ll be greeted by intricate detail and enduring beauty.

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Old October 10th, 2010, 07:37 AM   #20
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