Friday, 7 March 2014

Day 20: The Empire of the Moors

It brings me great sadness that today is my last day in Spain. I don't want to leave this place. It's just so sunny, alive, accommodating, accessible and affordable. 

I'm just taking it all. I can't help up look up all the time because of the beautiful architecture that reminds me so much of old Manila and Iloilo. If only we took care of our buildings. If only.

There is one thing though that is unique to this place- the footprints left by the Moors. The biggest footprints are their palaces and fortresses.

I managed to visit 3 from the entirely ruined to the one still being used by the royal family of Spain. Each of them breathtaking. I visited the last one today. 

It's so hard to summarize everything I learned in 1 post. But here are the 10 things I will remember the rest of my life.

1. The moors being nomadic built their palaces in the same set up as they would build their tents in the dessert.  There is always a courtyard in the middle.

2. They built using clay only because they didn't intend for it to last for centuries. By nature they moved around a lot.

3.  Most palaces look plain and unassuming from the outside unlike the palaces built by Christian monarch.

4.  The waters are still because it is meant for reflection. No fish, no fountains. 

5. The great halls were built with 4 walls to represent the 4 aspect of the earth and the domed to represent the heavens.


6. The whole palace is a book with verses from the Quran written all over.

7. Muslim architects didn't do exact replicas of animals or people because they believe only Allah can create beings.

8. The houses in the villages were built first before the streets because this is how they would set up in the deserts. The Romans built streets first as much most roman cities are organized.

9. Andalusia was their Oasis. The palaces built in this region were meant to resemble their paradise.
Trees were planted a couple meters below ground level so that they can reach the fruits, water everywhere. Pretty much how they envisioned oasis.

10. Sadly, much of the architecture were bastardized because of the reconquest by the catholic king of Spain and eventually much of the structures were destroyed during the European wars. This is why the first picture had fountains. 

Such a beautiful region. I am in love and I can't make myself leave this place and our beautiful hotel.


  1. I love love love the pictures you took. Moorish architecture is very ornamental as you may have observed.

    1. I actually find myself loving architecture and design the older I get. I'm excited to go home and open my old photos of the ottoman mosques and palaces. I went to Istanbul 2x but I never really bothered with the details. I think back then I was focused on religion