Influence of the Arab world in the peninsula
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History of the Muslim conquest
Arabic-influenced architecture in Spain
Arab gastronomy in Spanish food
The science of the Arab world
“Things are not valid for the time they last, but for the traces they leave.” – Arabic proverb
As we all know from the history classes of the institute, the Arab people spent nine centuries in the territory of the Iberian Peninsula. Almost a thousand years. Obviously, the Arab influence in Spain, especially in the south, is enormous.
This influence encompasses many different aspects of Spanish culture: gastronomy, music, dance, architecture, language … in short, most aspects of a culture.
But it turns out that today we have the feeling that the Arab culture is very different from ours and we hardly know the enormous influence it has had.
However, only 15 km separate Spain and Morocco through the Strait of Gibraltar. But it seems that a huge invisible barrier has been erected in the sea that only lets us see the enormous differences between two peoples but not all the similarities.
From Superprof we are going to try to bring the two cultures a little closer and see how one has enriched the other and the influence we have today.
History of the Muslim conquest: Influence of the Arab world in the peninsula
Know everything about the Arab world. Photo by Haneen Krimly.
It is considered that the year in which the Arabs conquered the Iberian Peninsula was the year 711. The territory controlled by the Arabs was called al-Andalus .
It all started with the establishment of the Emirate of Córdoba and later the Caliphate of Córdoba . Later the kingdoms of Taifa were succeeding.
The Emirate of Córdoba was an emirate with its capital in Córdoba that lasted from 756 to 929. It was ruled by the Umayyads. The Caliphate of the Umayyads was an Arab lineage that exercised the power of Caliph.
The Caliphate of Córdoba was an Andalusian Muslim state with its capital in Córdoba. The Caliphate was proclaimed in 929 by Abderramán III.
Arabic-influenced architecture in Spain
The Arab architecture is full of color. Photo by Darrell Chaddock.
The Islamic architectural style is very present in some areas of southern Spain. This style is easy to recognize. Some of the elements typical of Muslim architecture are the large courtyards , the minarets (towers), the vaults, the domes, the mihrab (semicircular niche in the wall indicating the qibla, that is, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca towards the one to be addressed in Muslim prayer), sculpted Arabic calligraphy and bright colors.
If you are walking through a city in Spain and you find some of these elements in the buildings, the Arabs have most likely been there.
The greatest exponent of Arabic architecture in Spain is the Alhambra . The Alhambra is a monumental complex, a set of palaces, gardens and fortresses located in the city of Granada, in Andalusia.
Other monuments that are also references in the architecture of Arab influence in Spain are the ones that we are going to tell you below.
The Mosque of Córdoba : originally it was a Visigothic basilica. The Arabs built a worship space over it with an impressive forest of columns, which is its most characteristic hallmark. The temple today also houses the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady.
The Generalife: located next to the Alhambra in Granada, it was the town that the Muslim kings used as a place of recreation and rest. The water channeling systems used and the way in which the spaces, gardens, patios and pools have been designed and distributed stand out.
The Aljafería de Zaragoza : it is a fortress that has undergone various modifications throughout its history. Today it appears in the form of a Christian castle, but it houses the design and ornamentation of the old Muslim fortress (lobed arches, mosque and patio).
The Mosque of Cristo de la Luz in Toledo : formerly the Bab al-Mardum Mosque, it is the best preserved Islamic temple in Toledo and an example of the splendor of the Caliphate of Córdoba. Later, when this building became a place for Christian worship, a new body of Mudejar art was added, which shapes the apse of the hermitage.
The Torre del Oro in Seville : this tower of Arab origin has been rebuilt on several
occasions. Originally it had a defensive function and after Seville was reconquered, it housed a chapel and was even a prison.
The Giralda of Seville : originally it was the minaret of the mosque, although today it is the bell tower of the cathedral. The lower two thirds of the current tower are precisely those of the Muslim construction, recognizable by their characteristic Arab ornamentation.
The Alcazaba of Malaga : it is a fortified palace, designed as a concentric wall enclosure. It does not conserve practically even half of its extension, but the spaces of its urban design can still be appreciated, with doors, arches and the old housing district.