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The term Moorish continues to be widely used to describe the art, architecture, and high culture of Muslim Andalusia and North Africa dating from the 11th century onward. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles.

The Berbers-Tuareg-Moors of North Africa

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Read More on This Topic. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: The cultural revival under Charlemagne and his successors. From Italy came grammarians and chroniclers, men such as Paul the Deacon; the more…. The Moor s possessed almost all of Spain during the Middle Ages and left this decorative heritage to the Spaniards.

During the early 16th century, minor northern Italian sculptors and artisans, particularly from Lombardy and Genoa, were imported into Spain to execute tombs and…. A substantial number of Jews had also long made…. In Spain the Moor s introduced new crops and a new breed of sheep, the Merino, that was to make Spanish wool famous throughout Europe. Moroccan architecture and Moroccan Riad.

Moorish architecture

Court of the lions, Alhambra Spain. Arabic architecture Berber architecture Iranian architecture Islamic architecture Mughal architecture Ottoman architecture. Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Arabic Mughal Ottoman Persian. Muraqqa Hilya Ottoman illumination.

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Arabesque Geometric patterns Girih tiles Zellige. Charbagh Mughal Ottoman Paradise Persian. Retrieved from " https: Arabic architecture Moorish architecture Architectural styles Islamic architecture Medieval architecture Architectural history Culture of Al-Andalus Moorish architecture of the Iberian peninsula Moors Portuguese architecture Spanish architecture Moorish Revival architecture. According to Ronald Segal, some 5. D, virtually all of them native inhabitants. According to historian Richard A. Fletcher, the number of Arabs who settled in Iberia was very small.

Moors - Wikipedia

There were about , Berbers and about 90, Arabs in Iberia. When you think of European culture, one of the first things that may come to your mind is the renaissance. Many of the roots of European culture can be traced back to that glorious time of art, science, commerce and architecture. But did you know that long before the renaissance there was a place of humanistic beauty in Muslim Spain?

Not only was it artistic, scientific and commercial, but it also exhibited incredible tolerance, imagination and poetry. Moors, as the Spaniards call the Muslims, populated Spain for nearly years.


As you'll see, it was their civilization that enlightened Europe and brought it out of the dark ages to usher in the renaissance. Many of their cultural and intellectual influences still live with us today. Way back during the eighth century, Europe was still knee-deep in the Medieval period. That's not the only thing they were knee-deep in. The stench must have been overwhelming, though it appears to have gone virtually unnoticed.

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Mixed with excrement and urine would be the soiled reeds and straw used to cover the dirt floors. This squalid society was organized under a feudal system and had little that would resemble a commercial economy. Along with other restrictions, the Catholic Church forbade the lending of money - which didn't help get things booming much. Money lending, which was forbidden by the Church, was permitted under Jewish law. Medieval Europe was a miserable lot, which ran high in illiteracy, superstition, barbarism and filth.

During this same time, Arabs entered Europe from the South. Grolier, History of Spain.


Al Andalus means, "the land of the Vandals," from which comes the modern name Andalusia. At first, the land resembled the rest of Europe in all its squalor. But within two-hundred years the Moors had turned Al-Andalus into a bastion of culture, commerce and beauty. Olives and wheat had always grown there. The Arabs added pomegranates, oranges, lemons, aubergines, artichokes, cumin, coriander, bananas, almonds, pams, henna, woad, madder, saffron, sugar-cane, cotton, rice, figs, grapes, peaches, apricots and rice. By the beginning of the ninth century, Moorish Spain was the gem of Europe with its capital city, Cordova.

Cordova, in southern Spain, was the intellectual center of Europe.

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At a time when London was a tiny mud-hut village that "could not boast of a single streetlamp" Digest, , p. There were mosques and public baths spread throughout the city and its twenty-one suburbs. The streets were paved and lit. They were adorned with gardens with artificial fountains and orchards". There were bookshops and more than seventy libraries. This rich and sophisticated society took a tolerant view towards other faiths. Tolerance was unheard of in the rest of Europe. But in Moorish Spain, "thousands of Jews and Christians lived in peace and harmony with their Muslim overlords.

Economically their prosperity was unparalleled for centuries. The aristocracy promoted private land ownership and encouraged Jews in banking. There was little or no Muslim prostelyting.