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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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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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