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Islamic Palace Architecture in the Western MediterraneanA History$
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Felix Arnold

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624552

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624552.001.0001

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The Epigones of Empire (1250–1500 CE)

The Epigones of Empire (1250–1500 CE)

(p.219) 5 The Epigones of Empire (1250–1500 CE)
Islamic Palace Architecture in the Western Mediterranean

Felix Arnold

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Islamic architecture during the Late Medieval Period when the collapsing Almohad Empire and its epigone were threatened both by external pressures and by the rise of Sufism, an anti-establishment, mystical interpretation of Islam. Although the basis of the period’s architecture remained the Almohad prototype with its dominant central axis, the epoch’s mystic tendencies are reflected in two innovative developments: a return to the lightness of the Eleventh Century and a predilection for introverted spaces. These changes expanded the range of materials used in construction to include stone, wood, and even marble. In Granada and the Alhambra, one epigenous group, the Nasrids, developed its own lively style of architecture characterized by the mirador and the increased presence of inscriptions, two features that reflect the era’s interest in mysticism.

Keywords:   Sufism, Nasrids, Granada, the Alhambra, mirador

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