Moorish Spain

Cordoba Fountian
Cordoba's Walls With the defeat of the last great Moorish City of Granada in 1492  (a big year in Spanish History) the Catholics had finally completed their “Re-conquest” and had finally ended over 700 years of Arab political influence on the Iberian Peninsula.  Even though the Catholics, were
unrelenting in their pursuit of killing any memory of Islam in Spain it would have been impossible to erase over seven centuries of Arabic artistic and cultural influences.  The Great Cities of the Muslim Spain, Cordoba, Granada, Cordoba, Seville, still retain much of those years.  

Left and Above:  Two fountains, one outside and one inside the cities walls remind the visitor of the Moorish need to constantly surround themselves with water.  

Military Band   Script   Matadors and Minarets        
 Above Left:  A Cordoba band's instruments still bear the mark of a Moorish Name and influence.
Above Center: Among the tile work in Seville's Governor Place is mostly unread Arabic Script.

Above Right:  North of the Mezquita but still within the old city walls are a number of churches that were once mosques.  Children play soccer beside a statue of a bullfighter in a plaza overshadowed by a Renaissance church.  Despite the quintessential Spanish scene, there are whispers of Muslim roots; the churches bell tower was once a minaret.

Below Left:  The arches of The Mezquita, the greatest mosque of Cordoba and of all Muslim Spain, seem to endlessly repeat themselves.  It is easy for the visitor to imagine what it would have looked like with many the faithful doing their daily prayers.  The robes flowing during the repeated standing, kneeling and bowing would have been perfectly framed by the building columns.  It is hard for me to imagine a building more artistically in tune with its purpose. 
Arches of Cordoba   Jesus In Toledo   Pork In Every Bar

Above Center:  

Above Right and Bottom Right:  During the Spanish Inquisition suspected Muslims were sometimes forced to eat Pork to prove they had converted.  Today ham is a central ingredient in every restaurant menu and every bar's snacks.  After a while the eating of pork seems sacrament.  Is this the legacy of the Christians reclaiming their culture?
Pork hangs from bar ceilings and yet another store specializing in ham.

Moorish Sounds still Linger   View From Mequita   Inside the Gardens of Granda. Why the Last Moor sighed.   Pork Shop

Above Left:  In a guitar shop in Southern Spain the music of Muslim world can still be faintly heard.

Above Center Left:  View down from the Giralda of Seville, once the tallest minaret in the world.

Above Center Right:  The Gardens of Granada:  The Arab world has never gotten over the loss of Granada.  A popular legend is that as the Muslim leader was crossing over the final pass in the mountains he turned and looked at his beloved city one last time and wept.  His mother said, “Weep for a woman, what you could not defend like a man.” Ouch.  Century’s later Arab writers still write sorrowful passages of the great gardens that had once been in the Castle walls. 

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About Me:  I am a History teacher who wants to transform my hobby of Travel Photography into paying for my summer vacations.  If you would like to use any of my images in your magazine or web site  please contact me at

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