• Admire the legendary Moorish structures in Granada

     The Moorish architecture in Granada is a cultural and artistic highlight when you come to this Andalusia city!

    Southern Spain under Arab rule for about 700 years, between the 8th century until the 15th century. Great examples of Moorish architecture date from this period so there are many all over Andalucia, but nowhere are they as impressive as in Granada. Moorish-themed buildings spring up throughout the town, especially in the oldest areas.


    Granada City - The Moorish architecture in GranadaThe city of Granada


    An introduction to the Moorish architecture in Spain

    Moorish architecture comes from the Moorish art that developed in North Africa and the Iberian peninsula around the 11th century. Moorish art is a variation of Islamic art. Elements of Moorish architecture include a variety of arches, intricate calligraphy, botanical designs and decorative tiles.

    The Moorish architecture is a variant of Islam ic architecture. There are many motifs, or patterns that repeat themselves in Moorish architecture. The Moorish architecture is named after the Moors, who conquered the Iberian peninsula and many islands in the Western Mediterranean starting in the 700s. The Moors controlled what today is Spain, Portugal and the French Pyrenees for hundreds of years.

    The Moors are Muslim and are influenced by the Islamic architecture developed in the Middle East. Although mosques are the most common examples of Moorish architecture, it also has widespread motifs in home and business design. One of the most famous examples of architecture Moorish, Mezquita or Grand Mosque in Cordoba, Spain, today is the Catholic Church of the region. In addition the Alhambra castle and Generalife in Granada are also other typical examples.

    Characteristic elements of the Moorish architecture in Granada include horseshoe or interwoven dome, central courtyard, riad garden; The intricately carved wood and mortar for decoration, muqarnas sculpture and decorative brick work is called zellij in Arabic or azulejo in Spanish and Portuguese.

    1. Alhambra Castle - The pinnacle of Moorish art and architecture

    The most famous and impressive architectural relic from this period in history is the Alhambra palace of Granada, located atop the lush Darro valley and overlooking Albaicín - the city's old Arab quarter.

    Alhambra's main attractions are the Nasrid palaces, home to some of the most beautiful Moorish interiors you can see - barely unchanged after almost a thousand years - and the Generalife summer palace in between, all, the palace was built by Charles V in the 15th century to assert the new dominance of Catholicism over Islam.

    The Alhambra's position on the top of the steep Darro valley meant it was a great spot to defend the city against Christian invaders. For this reason, Granada was the last great Moorish city in Andalucia captured in 1492 by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella.

    Of the three palaces built by the successors of Muhammad I, the Lion Palace is an example of  the Moorish architecture in Granada which  was built between 1362 and 1391 during the reign of Sultan Mohammad V which is particularly notable. Italy with its impressive inner pitch. The courtyard is surrounded by 124 columns of white marble used to symbolize a palm forest in a desert oasis. Many arches are decorated in a mocárabe style, characterized by intricate hanging stalactites. The upper sections of the dome feature a diamond-shaped sebka design and represent the central position geometry holds in Islamic architecture.


    2. Ancient city wall

    Not only was it the presence of the mighty Alhambra, but Granada was difficult to be held by later rulers. The original city wall, largely intact to this day, is also a solid defense against aggressive Catholic armies. The countryside above Sacromonte's Gypsy neighborhood is the best place to see this wall, it runs along the hillside that divides Albaicín (the old Moorish neighborhood was originally on the outer limit of the city) and Sacromonte. Some of the places that used to be the main entrance to Albaicín still exist and are particularly interesting examples of Moorish architecture in Granada.

    3. Albaicín

    Nowhere else in Granada has a rich collection of beautiful Moorish houses like Albaicín, the old Arab quarter on the other side of the valley.

    One of the most attractive buildings in Albaicín with the Moorish architecture in Granada  can be found near Plaza Larga (which is home to some delicate Arabic mosaics in the building's exterior). Its entrance is particularly prominent as a Granada tourist destination you should visit!

    4. Arabic style bathrooms

    Tucked beneath a private house on the beautiful Carrera del Darro street are the oldest and best preserved Arab bathhouses in Spain. These bathrooms are in the 11th century and the domed ceiling remains surprisingly intact a thousand years later. It is certain that after the Alhambra castle, this is the greatest instance of Moorish architecture in Granada .

    With the Moorish structures in Granada , you will have the opportunity to admire an aspect of the rich and diverse Spanish culture and learn more about the history of the area!

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