Spain and Africa: Shaken and Stirred

I was able to take an extended visit to southern Spain and northern Africa (Morocco) a few summers back. In addition to drinking some great wine and dining on delightful tapas, I managed to visit a lot of the “greatest hits” of the region. Through Granada, Sevilla, Almeria and Marrakech, Fes and Gibraltar, I was always struck at even though all those cities are divided across continents, politics, and religion, the historical architecture spoke of a much deeper and in-your-face coexistence. This shared space of the southernmost Europe and northernmost Africa (with a bit of Mother England colonialism sprinkled in) demonstrates that how people live—and the buildings they construct—are beautifully non-straightforward.

Above Fes

Above Fes

Above Sevilla

Above Sevilla

Orange grove in Alcazar in Seville. Orange groves factor significantly into Islamic architecture.

Orange grove in Alcazar in Seville. Orange groves factor significantly into Islamic architecture.

Horseshoe arch in Marrakech

Horseshoe arch in Marrakech

Arches in the Alhambra, Granada

Arches in the Alhambra, Granada

Above at the Alhambra. Inside of the cupola, it's easy to see the influence of mathematics and geometry upon the physical construction.

Above at the Alhambra. Inside of the cupola, it’s easy to see the influence of mathematics and geometry upon the physical construction.

Gibraltar peak, above the clouds.

Gibraltar peak, above the clouds.

Orange trees and ornate stucco walls in Fes. (Remember the oranges in Seville?)

Orange trees and ornate stucco walls in Fes. (Remember the oranges in Seville?)

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