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Monidaya in Andalusia!


The history of Islamic Spain is rather underrated that we decided to take on this topic to not only enlighten ourselves, but to also teach our readers through our unique way of sharing what we’ve we learned. As we researched Al-Andalus (aka Islamic Spain), we were fascinated by the overwhelming vibrancy of its architectural design, and its religious and political significance during the time.  The purpose of our project is to find out how art reflected the time of Islamic Spain, specifically how they translated Islam into something tangible, particularly architecture. 

Consequently, we were particularly interested in the elements that make a mosque, palace, and a church and how architecture could relate to and represent religious beliefs. It intrigued us that a mosque could also be a cathedral, such as the one in Cordoba. It is important to note that after the fall of Islamic Spain, the Christians continued to preserve Islamic architecture, and even adopted Moorish and Mudejar styles. We will take our audience on a visual trip through different time periods of Islamic kingdoms of Al-Andalus. We will analyze the Aljaferia Palace in Zaragoza, one of the Taifa kingdoms; the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, during the Umayyad caliphate; the Alcazar of Seville; and lastly, the Alhambra palace in Granada, from the Nasrid Kingdom. Despite the differences in beliefs, the people of Spain believed in the adaptation of artistic styles from diverse groups of people, which eventually lead to the Spain that everyone visits for the purpose of its rich history. Appreciation for these styles, groups of people, and its relevance to the present day is a key factor in our project. 

We chose Instagram because it is a multi-purpose social media platform. Having a collective interest in photography, we wanted it to be a relatable experience, whereby our explorer, Monidaya, is documenting the places in what was once in Islamic Spain. We were inspired by travel bloggers who documented every part of their trip to provide background knowledge, making us yearn to wander to such exotic places and delve further into the history of the location. Lastly, Islamic Spain is rich in arts and culture that Instagram is the easiest platform to share the aesthetically pleasing pictures as well as to relay historical context without losing our focus. The individual posts allow us to group our topics specifically for further appreciation and understanding of our context.

The architecture in Al-Andalus is vital in today’s context because it shows how a historic time can continue to exist without the maintenance of the society that once lived there. Overall, the architectures carried political and religious significance, reflecting diverse craftsmanship and cultural influences during the time. It continues to be influential and aesthetically acclaimed around the world, and continues to leave a legacy of Islam and its influence. We concluded that art is a universal language in expressing religious beliefs that a person from a different culture or time period, could understand and appreciate.

Here is the link to our architecture of Islamic Spain Instagram page! Enjoy! :)

Post 1: Intro Monidaya the explorer

Post 2: History of Al-Andalus

Post 3: History of Aljaferia Palace

Post 4: Majlis in the Aljaferia Palace

Post 5: Mudejar Style with the Aljaferia Palace as reference

Post 6: History of Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba

Post 7: The Mihrab of Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba

Post 8: The Prayer Hall of Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba 

Post 9: The transition from mosque to cathedral of Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba

Post 10: Alcazar of Seville (Mudejar Style)

Post 11: Moorish style with Alcazar of Seville as reference

Post 12: Alhambra introduction

Post 13: Hall of Ambassadors in Alhambra

Post 14: Ceiling of Hall of Ambassadors in Alhambra

Post 15: Adieu, Al-Andalus/Spain


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Department of Islamic Art. “The Art of the Umayyad Period in Spain (711–1031).” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000

GHAZANFAR,S.M., March 2004, Spain’s Islamic Legacy : A Muslim Travelogue

Gonzales, Valerie. “Beauty and Islam” (2001). Proquest Ebook Central.

Hall of Ambassadors.  From Alhambra De Granada. Accessed 1 April 2017

Harvey L.P.,“Islamic Spain. 1250 to 1500.” , 1990, Google Books. 

Hogendijk, Jan P. “Al-Mu'taman ibn Hūd, 11th century king of Saragossa and brilliant mathematician” (February 1995) Historia Matematica.

Le Hoang Long, Vincent. "Royal Alcázar Of Seville, Spain – A World Heritage Site". Culture Magazine 2016. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.

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Robinson, C. “THE ALJAFERÍA IN SARAGOSSA AND TAIFA SPACES” (2000) Cambridge University Press.

Robinson, C. (1997). Seeing Paradise: Metaphor and Vision in taifa Palace Architecture. Gesta,36(2), 145-155.

Ruggles, D. Fairchild. "The Alcazar Of Seville And Mudejar Architecture". The University of Chicago Press Journals 43.2 (2004): 87-98. Print.

The Art of the Nasrid Period (1232-1492).” From Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Accessed 1 April 2017.

Vallaure, Sandra. "The Royal Alcazar: Spain's Oldest Palace - Seville Traveller". Seville Traveller. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.

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W. Montegomery Watt & Pierre Cachia, “A History of Islamic Spain” , 1965, Google books. 


Media Credits:

Post 1:

Monika Burton Pangilinan

Post 2: Alexandre Vigo, "Al_Andalus & Christian Kingdoms" , 23rd December 2013, Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Post 3: Juanedc, Palacio de la Aljaferia, 10 January 2009, Creative Commons.

Post 4: Escarlati, Patio de Santa Isabel, 15 July 2006, Public Domain.

Post 5: 

Escarlati, Estancias testero norte aljaferia, 14 July 2006, Public Domain.

Escarlati, Techumbre palacio reyes catolicos aljaferia, 15 July 2006, Public Domain.

Post 6: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas/ Córdoba, Spain: Mosque of Córdoba/ 19 February 2010/ Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

Post 7: Michael Cohen, Mihrab of Mosque of Córdoba Spain, 14 July 2008, Creative Commons.

Post 8: Jim Gordon, Mezquita de Córdoba, España, 30 October 2007, Creative Commons.

Post 9:

Jan Seifart, Coro de la Mezquita de Córdoba, 26 November 2012, CC BY 2.0.

Michal Osmenda, Cathedral-Mosque of Córdoba, 8 April 2012, CC BY 2.0.

Post 10:
Michal Osmenda, Alcazar of Seville, 2012, Wikimedia Commons

Unknown, Alcazar Palace in Seville, Euro Scenes, Labeled for Reuse

Unknown, Seville Garden Spain Walkway, Maxpixel, Public Domain

Unknown, Alcazar Water Supply, Maxpixel, Public Domain

Post 11:
Unknown, Royal Alcazar of Seville, Culturemagazin, Public Domain

Unknown, Moorish ceramic tiles in Royal Alcázar of Seville, Culturemagazin, Public Domain

Mstyslav Chernov, Moorish Palace Arches in the Alcazar in Seville, 2008, Wikimedia Commons

Michal Osmenda, Alcazar of Seville, 2012, Wikimedia Commons

Post 12:

Bernjan, View of the Alhambra,1 August 2006, CC BY-SA 2.0

Tuxyso, Court of the Lions of Alhambra,10 March 2014, CC BY-SA 3.0

Post 13:

Eva Maryskova, The Alhambra’s Hall of Ambassadors,9 February 2013, Public Domain

Jan Zeschy, Alhambra Granada,1 September 2006,. CC BY-NC 2.0

Micheal Clarke, Serallo 15 ,2 March 2010, CC BY-SA 2.0

Post 14:

José Luiz, Ceiling of Hall of Ambassadors, 3 February 2013, CC BY-SA 3.0

Post 15: 
Sarah Loetscher, Via Pixabay, Public Domain