Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tiles of the Alhambra

Another recurring theme on our spain tour was artful tilework. This was first evident in destination Barcelona with the intricate mosaics of Antoni Gaudí.

But there was no finer example than at the Alhambra in Granada. The 13th century palace–fortress was the last stronghold of Moorish presence on the Iberian Peninsula. An architectural gem, it is the most visited attraction in Spain with an average of 6,000 visitors a day.

(click to enlarge)

As Islamic tradition dictates, art may contain no depictions of humans or animals in order to prevent idol-worship. So detailing utilized geometric forms, and woven floral and calligraphic designs.

Inside the Palace, colorful tiles and elaborate epigraphy decorate the walls. Combined with the gardens of Generalife, and the vistas of the city of Granada, the palace is serene and grand, a triumph of Granada.

Interested in adding some tile work to your own home? Here's some great decorating ideas.

Want to read more about Alhambra? Apparently, Washington Irving spent some time in Granada and wrote Tales of the Alhambra—an "original classic".

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