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Interior of the Mezquita, Cordoba

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Moorish architecture is a term used to describe the articulated Islamic architecture which developed in North Africa and south-western Europe, especially the Iberian Peninsula, where Islamic civilisation came into contact with Berber, Greco-Roman, Visigothic and other traditions.



Among the surviving examples are the Mezquita in Cordoba; the Alhambra (mainly 1338-1390[1]) and Generalife in Granada and the Giralda in Seville in 1184[2]; Paderne Castle in the Algarve, Portugal; the mosque of Tin Mal in Morocco; the Great Mosque of Algiers and the Great Mosque of Tlemcen in Algeria; and the Mosque of Uqba in Kairouan, Tunisia.

Other notable examples include the ruined palace city of Medina Azahara (936-1010), the church (former mosque) San Cristo de la Luz in Toledo, the Aljafería in Saragossa and baths at for example Ronda and Alhama de Granada.

The term is sometimes used to include the products of the Islamic civilisation of Southern Italy.[3] The Palazzo dei Normanni in Sicily was begun in the 9th century by the Emir of Palermo.

There is archeological evidence of an eighth century mosque in Narbonne, France.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Curl p.502
  2. ^ Pevsner - The penguin dictionary of architecture
  3. ^ The Industrial Geography of Italy, Russell King, Taylor & Francis, 1985, page 81,
  4. ^ Islam Outside the Arab World, David Westerlund, Ingvar Svanberg, Palgrave Macmillan, 1999, page 342


  • Curl, James Stevens (in English) (Paperback). A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Second ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 880 pages. ISBN 0-19-860678-8.  
  • Barrucand, Marianne; Bednorz, Achim (in English). Moorish Architecture in Andalusia. Taschen. p. 240 pages. ISBN 3-8228-2116-0.  

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