Special Issue "Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Arts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alicia Carrillo

Guest Editor
Professor of History of Art, Department of History of Art, Archeology and Music, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, Córdoba University, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
Interests: Muqarnas decoration; Western / Eastern Islamic art from the beginning to 15th century; Andalusi art; Sharq al-Andalus; Mardanishi art

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The importance of Andalusi art in its developmental stage, and in the evolution of Hispanic architecture, seems to be undeniable. At present, a large group of monuments and archaeological remains continue to remind us about that great period of history in the Iberian Peninsula (from the eighth to the fifteenth century). Fortunately, during the first half of the 20th century, some great historians and archaeologists, such as Leopoldo Torres Balbás, Henri Terrasse, or Manuel Gómez-Moreno, emphasized the importance of this period. Since then, many successful publications have enriched the historiographical scene and have completed some aspects that previously remained unknown. As an example, the last archaeological finds from ancient Cordoba in the Caliphate period, published by Pedro Marfil, Antonio Vallejo and Alberto León; the last studies carried out by Julio Navarro and Pedro Jiménez on the old palace of Ibn Mardanīsh in Murcia; the research on the royal Alcazar of Seville by Miguel Ángel Tabales; and the latest theoretical reflections about the Alhambra of Granada.

In this sense, this Special Issue will deal with the current context of this topic, and the idea of the main researchers making that context public for the scientific community. Through their contributions, a current perspective about Andalusi architecture will be presented (apart from its importance in the Christian peninsular scope). Thus, this publication will contain works referring to Andalusi architecture throughout its different stages (Emirate, Caliphate, Taifa’s Era, Almoravids and Almohads Empires and the last period, the Nasri stage), taking, as a frame of reference, the most symbolic elements, such as Cordoba’s Mosque, the archaeological site of Madīnat al-Zahrā, the Aljaferia of Saragossa, the realizations of Ibn Mardanīsh in Murcia, the almohad architecture in Seville or the Alhambra of Granada. Likewise, different studies have shown the artistic influence of al-Andalus in the Christian peninsular architecture, which uses elements from Andalusi art, and has been called Mudejar architecture by most Spanish historiographers; of which use lasted beyond the Medieval period, as they are also used in contemporary architecture.

In conclusion, this Special Issue aims to highlight the shapes of Andalusi architecture in its original context and today.

Dr. Alicia Carrillo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Andalusi architecture
  • Cordoba’s Mosque
  • the Aljaferia of Saragossa
  • Caliphate art
  • Taifa art
  • Nasrid art
  • Almohad architecture
  • Mardanisi art
  • Mudejar art
  • Madīnat al-Zahrā

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Caliphs, Elites, and Servants in the Qaṣr of Madīnat Al-Zahrā’ in the Light of Its Residential Architecture
Arts 2019, 8(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8020065 - 20 May 2019
Abstract
Based on an archaeological analysis of part of the buildings that make up the “private” sector of the Qaṣr of Madinat al-Zahra, we offer you an overview of the people who lived and worked there on a daily basis. We conclude that it [...] Read more.
Based on an archaeological analysis of part of the buildings that make up the “private” sector of the Qaṣr of Madinat al-Zahra, we offer you an overview of the people who lived and worked there on a daily basis. We conclude that it is possible to identify four types of resident: the caliph and the heir, the high functionaries of the state, the functionaries who supervised the domestic maintenance tasks and, finally, the servants who carried them out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
The Most Advanced Hydraulic Techniques for Water Supply at the Fortresses in the Last Period of Al-Andalus (Thirteenth to Fifteenth Century)
Arts 2019, 8(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8020063 - 15 May 2019
Abstract
Due to the conflicts that existed among the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, the territories of al-Andalus were protected with defensive architecture that played an influential role on the landscape. The development of these fortresses was necessarily linked to [...] Read more.
Due to the conflicts that existed among the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, the territories of al-Andalus were protected with defensive architecture that played an influential role on the landscape. The development of these fortresses was necessarily linked to water, either because of the strategic control of a hydraulic resource or because of the need to provide to inaccessible places, as it is often the case of the emplacement of these constructions. The study of their implantation in the territory and the hydraulic elements that they preserve has revealed quite diverse systems of water supply. This paper presents the comprehensive overview that emerged after verifying that many of the existing cisterns, rather than being autonomous and isolated elements, as has often been considered, are strongly related to the organization and development of the fortresses, sometimes located at the end of complex and advanced hydraulic networks, closely linked to the topography of each place. This study is devoted to the water supply systems of some of the most significant fortresses in the last territories of al-Andalus, corresponding to the Nasrid kingdom of Granada (1238–1492). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
The Alhambra: Transformation and Change through Architectural Ceramics
Arts 2018, 7(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040079 - 12 Nov 2018
Abstract
In the following paper, we look at the Alhambra from a perspective of architectural ceramics, an essential element in the understanding of the monument. From the Nasrid era onward, glazed ceramic tile mosaics were used to adorn the walls, a style that extended [...] Read more.
In the following paper, we look at the Alhambra from a perspective of architectural ceramics, an essential element in the understanding of the monument. From the Nasrid era onward, glazed ceramic tile mosaics were used to adorn the walls, a style that extended into the Christian conquest, when the palace complex was used as a royal residence. Since then, restoration work has continued to be carried out on the alicatados that cover the Alhambra’s walls, especially during an intense period in the 19th century, when it was the subject of much interest from Romantic travellers to Granada. A detailed, documented analysis of this work shows the complexity of the palace and fortress complex, helping us to better understand a part of its history. In the following pages, we specifically focus on one room in the Alhambra, the so-called Cuarto Dorado (Golden Room), outlining the preliminary findings of a research project that we are undertaking in association with the University of Granada and the Patronato de la Alhambra y el Generalife (Council of the Alhambra and the Generalife). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
Houses and Daily Life in Islamic Portugal (12th–13th Century): Mértola in the Context of Gharb
Arts 2018, 7(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040077 - 06 Nov 2018
Abstract
This is an overview of the houses in southern Portugal, at the final stages of the Islamic period, using Mértola as the case study. Recent archaeological works, performed in different places, give us information on the houses’ organization, as well on the daily [...] Read more.
This is an overview of the houses in southern Portugal, at the final stages of the Islamic period, using Mértola as the case study. Recent archaeological works, performed in different places, give us information on the houses’ organization, as well on the daily life of the population. Alimentary habits have been disclosed through a series of analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
Open Al-Andalus: Hispanic-Muslim Heritage Impact on Spanish Contemporary Architecture
Arts 2018, 7(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040066 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Spanish architecture, towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, was characterized by the development of a variety of styles, including Neo-Muslim. The Alhambra of Granada, the Mosque of Cordoba, and the Giralda Tower of Seville, served as [...] Read more.
Spanish architecture, towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, was characterized by the development of a variety of styles, including Neo-Muslim. The Alhambra of Granada, the Mosque of Cordoba, and the Giralda Tower of Seville, served as inspiration to the design of works that would follow these models, some to a greater extent than others, and would eventually give rise to an architectural trend that would make its way all across Spain. As such, this article attempts to provide some examples of said architecture found in different autonomous communities in Spain, examining them through four typologies, as well as to discuss the consideration and use of the Neo-Muslim style after the second half of the 20th century. The methodology behind this research involved extensive reading and analysis of both general and specific works on the subject, the study of archival materials relative to some of the selected buildings, about which preserved evidence was scarce, as well as taking photographs of the properties included in the text. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
The Role and Meaning of Religious Architecture in the Umayyad State: Secondary Mosques
Arts 2018, 7(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040063 - 09 Oct 2018
Abstract
Historiography and archaeological research have traditionally defined mosques mainly as religious spaces or places to pray, without further specifications. This simplification has usually dominated the analyses of mosques, while other uses or functional aspects of these buildings were put aside. The scarcity of [...] Read more.
Historiography and archaeological research have traditionally defined mosques mainly as religious spaces or places to pray, without further specifications. This simplification has usually dominated the analyses of mosques, while other uses or functional aspects of these buildings were put aside. The scarcity of material information available for years to approach these buildings, together with the dominance of the more monumental examples—such as the great mosque of Córdoba—provoked that analyses about other more modest mosques were scarce or almost inexistent. However, in recent decades, the proliferation of real estate building activities has led to the recovery of many new and fresh archaeological data related to other mosques different from the Friday ones. Specifically, in Córdoba, the volume of information recovered has been enormous, and concerns not only mosques as isolated buildings, but also their urban environments, construction processes, and evolution along the centuries. Therefore, in this paper, we offer a summarized overview of the state of the arts about research on mosques in al-Andalus, presenting the main problems and limitations of the topic until now, and also the case of Córdoba and the main results achieved there as a reference for further actions to be undertaken in the rest of the territory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
Fortified Construction Techniques in al-Ṭagr al-Awsaṯ, 8th–13th Centuries
Arts 2018, 7(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040055 - 29 Sep 2018
Abstract
Spanish Islamic military architecture shows an attempt at the systematization of works, techniques, and defensive elements, commencing in the era of the Umayyad Emirate and Caliphate up to the North African Empires (Almoravids and Almohads). This article presents an analysis of the constructive [...] Read more.
Spanish Islamic military architecture shows an attempt at the systematization of works, techniques, and defensive elements, commencing in the era of the Umayyad Emirate and Caliphate up to the North African Empires (Almoravids and Almohads). This article presents an analysis of the constructive techniques and systems employed in the fortified architecture in al-Ṭagr al-Awsaṯ; that is, the Medium Frontier Territory of al-Andalus, called Marca Media, between the 8th and 13th centuries. The fortification of the borders was an objective of the Umayyad Emirate and Caliphate, as well as of the new kingdoms of Taifas and the Almoravid and Almohad Empires. The buildings were designed not only to defend a territory but also as a way of demonstrating the political power, and thus they were used as “state propaganda”. The triumph of the Islamic State over different groups, the advance of the Christian conquest, the decline of the Caliphate, and the invasion of the Almoravids and Almohads were situations that modified the definition of borders, the strategies of defense, and the organization of cities and territories. Therefore, the construction of fortifications acted as a mirror reflecting the social, political, and economic circumstances, whose changes depended on the real possibilities, knowledge, celerity, or technological evolution of the time. As such, these constructions permit an analysis of not only the building techniques, but also the people who carried them out, showing in their remains the social implications and organization of work from the master builders down to the quarry workers. This article presents the organization and technical knowledge of construction through a selection of cases studies, including watchtowers, castles, city walls, and fortresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
The Survival of Andalusi Artistic Formulas in the Time of Hernan Ruiz I
Arts 2018, 7(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030037 - 09 Aug 2018
Abstract
In the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era, Hernan Ruiz I worked as master builder of the Cathedral of Cordoba. His works exemplify the adoption of an artistic language resulting from the symbiosis of Gothic, Renaissance and Islamic formulas. In [...] Read more.
In the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era, Hernan Ruiz I worked as master builder of the Cathedral of Cordoba. His works exemplify the adoption of an artistic language resulting from the symbiosis of Gothic, Renaissance and Islamic formulas. In this paper, we demonstrate the imprint of the Andalusi aesthetic in this master’s work. Through an analysis of his building works and the evolution of his style, we show that Hernan Ruiz I’s legacy is more important than what historiography has previously suggested, which has only addressed the transition in his architectural style from Gothic to Renaissance and has overlooked the impact of Andalusi formulas in his work. Hernan Ruiz I bore witness to an important change in the mentality and aesthetic tastes of his time, and although his son, Hernan Ruiz II, gained greater recognition for his work, his father was able to adapt a church model imbued with the medieval spirit to the demands of the new patrons, namely the nobility and high clergy. These clients imposed their tastes, which were anchored in the past, but were open to new Renaissance influences due to their humanistic training and, at the same time, attracted by the exoticism and prestige of Andalusi art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
The Visual Construction of the Umayyad Caliphate in Al-Andalus through the Great Mosque of Cordoba
Arts 2018, 7(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030036 - 08 Aug 2018
Abstract
My first exposure to the epigraphic program of the Great Mosque of Cordoba, published in 2001, came from reading an article on the ideological meaning of the decoration and the Quranic citations inscribed in al-Ḥakam II’s addition to the building. In that article, [...] Read more.
My first exposure to the epigraphic program of the Great Mosque of Cordoba, published in 2001, came from reading an article on the ideological meaning of the decoration and the Quranic citations inscribed in al-Ḥakam II’s addition to the building. In that article, I concluded that the Quranic verses found in the mosque were chosen not only for being a universal proclamation of divine power and praise for the Umayyad dynasty, as proposed by Nuha Khoury in 1996, but also because they clearly fitted in with the particular Andalusi, or rather Cordoban, religious, cultural, and political context in the first half of the 10th century. Most of the inscriptions had been read in the 19th century by Amador de los Ríos, but some of them remained uninterpreted. Given that they were an essential part of the ideological message, it seemed appropriate to revisit the critical reading of the epigraphic program and determine its full meaning. Later, I discussed other architectural aspects of the Great Mosque in which the links to the Andalusi and the eastern Umayyad traditions are a key aspect in understanding why these forms were chosen. Damascus, the eastern Umayyad capital, and to a lesser extent Medina and the Abbasid capitals, became the model for the caliphs of Cordoba. This article proposes to revisit the main architectural and decorative features of the caliphal enlargements of the Great Mosque of Cordoba in order to reflect on the meaning and forms of its epigraphic program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
Mathematics and the Islamic Architecture of Córdoba
Arts 2018, 7(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030035 - 08 Aug 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In 10th-century Córdoba, mathematics—and particularly geometry—was applied to architectural design in new ways, constituting a “mathematical turn” of Islamic architecture. In the mosque of Córdoba and in the palaces of Madīnat al-Zahrāʾ, geometry was employed in the design of ground plans, elevations, decorative [...] Read more.
In 10th-century Córdoba, mathematics—and particularly geometry—was applied to architectural design in new ways, constituting a “mathematical turn” of Islamic architecture. In the mosque of Córdoba and in the palaces of Madīnat al-Zahrāʾ, geometry was employed in the design of ground plans, elevations, decorative patterns, and even to measure the human view. While Roman architects like Vitruvius had used mathematics to place each element of a building in its appropriate relation to all other elements of a building, the architects at Córdoba employed geometry to create a spatial web in which all parts are equal to each other and part of a single, unified space. The architects of Córdoba thus pointed the way to new possibilities of designing architecture, possibilities which were to be tested further by architects of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, though to different ends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
The Almohad Caliphate: A Look at Al-Andalus through Arabic Documentation and Their Artistic Manifestations
Arts 2018, 7(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030033 - 01 Aug 2018
Abstract
The main objective of this article is to reflect on the importance and influence of the Andalusian cultural legacy during the years of the Almohad dominance in the Islamic West. To do this, I will examine the written Arabic documentation and those material [...] Read more.
The main objective of this article is to reflect on the importance and influence of the Andalusian cultural legacy during the years of the Almohad dominance in the Islamic West. To do this, I will examine the written Arabic documentation and those material testimonies that have reached us, which will allow me to get closer to a greater knowledge of this reformist movement. In this sense, I will analyze the artistic, political and religious landscape, which will lead me to address a reality that becomes the vehicle of legitimation of this new caliphate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
The Legacy of Al-Andalus in Mexico: Mudejar Architecture
Arts 2018, 7(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7030030 - 25 Jul 2018
Abstract
This article aims to approach the Mudejar architecture developed in Mexico during the 16th and 17th centuries. The subject has been little studied, although both general and specific contributions have been made by the author’s research group. At the methodological level, this study [...] Read more.
This article aims to approach the Mudejar architecture developed in Mexico during the 16th and 17th centuries. The subject has been little studied, although both general and specific contributions have been made by the author’s research group. At the methodological level, this study is based on the existing bibliography, as well as archive and field research which allow for an accurate scientific approach and results. The article analyzes the social and productive conditions in Mexico during the Viceregal period, along with the systematization carried by the Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza, the guild ordinances and the architectural typologies. The perception of territory and the use of constructive models by the Viceregal authorities would justify the use of the Mudejar style as cultural and unity criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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