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Medina Azahara

Islamic Architecture of Andalusia

Spain’s Islamic centuries (AD 711-1492) left a particularly rich heritage of exotic and beautiful palaces, mosques, minarets and fortresses in Andalusia, which was always the heartland of Al-Andalus (as the Muslim- ruled areas of the Iberian Peninsula were known). These buildings make Andalusia visually unique in Europe and have to be classed as its greatest architectural glory.

Islamic Dynasties Chart

The Islamic Dyansties

This schematic chart provides a simplified picture of the political complexities of certain periods. (Large parts of Central Asia, China, South-east Asia and Africa have been omitted.)     islamic dynasties mammaluks in…

Mosque of Ibn Tulun

Cairo – A City Adorned

From the late ninth century well into the 15th, mosques built as prestige projects were the most spectacular buildings in Cairo. Locals, pilgrims on their way to Makkah and even Christian pilgrims were…

Detail from a folio based on the 1375 “Catalan Atlas” by Abraham Cresques.

Pioneer Physicians

With their legacies of life saving innovations, among the many who helped swing open the door to modern medicine were five whose contributions still resonate.

Textile fragment, late 10th century; cAbbasid, Probably Iraq, Cotton, plain weave with painted inscription

Textile fragment, late 10th century

Cotton textiles from the eastern Islamic world were often inexpensively decorated with simple painted brushstrokes. The painted surface decoration of these textiles imitates the more luxurious type with embroidered silk inscriptions and also…

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Samarra – the Abbasid Capital in Iraq

Samarra is now recognized as the largest archaeological site in the world and stretches for over 40 km along the banks of the Tigris. Although there were settlements in the area of Samarra…

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