Is it Islamic, Christian, Jewish, or Mudéjar?

Andalucía is home to some of the most unique and fascinating history of interactions between Islamic, Jewish, and Christian cultures, which mixed to create what is known today as Múdejar (  El Real Alcázar, the Royal 4CD41D53-EFAE-4182-8F8A-C08DB2E34BF2Palace in Seville, has gorgeous patios or courtyards as well Roman aqueducts.  The façade shown appears to be of Islamic influence as it was built using brick, plaster, tile, and wood.  These materials are typical of an Islamic structure since they are materials that will eventually break down.  The Islamic faith believes that only Allah is eternal.  Key hints as to the Christian influence of this façade are the lions and castles found in the detailed plasterwork representing the Kingdoms of Castille and Leon.  The tiling also references god when it says “por a gracia de Dios”, which translates to “by the grace of God”.Version 2Finally, the façade also includes Marble, rarely used in the Islamic world (Córdoba is the most famous exception) because it was considered too permanent (  Based on the construction of this façade it is thought that Muslims built this for Christian rulers.  Although the interactions of these three cultures are always mentioned I have always wondered, since examples are never given, of how the Jewish Culture was involved in the creation of mudéjar.  When I asked Antonio Cuaresmo, he explained that through his research he could not find any particular characteristic of art or architecture solely attributed to Jewish culture, although there were a few that overlapped with Christian and Islamic cultures.  He also told me that the main way the Jewish people contributed was by paying extra taxes for these grand projects as a way for guaranteeing that they could continue living in this now Christian dominated land.

By jmsylvester

Hispanic Studies Major.