Muslims In Spain

The city of Seville is filled with rich Islamic heritage as it was ruled by Muslims from when they first arrived in 700 AD until around 1248. They are responsible for the new styles of architecture that they introduced, this can still be seen in places such as the Giralda Tower. This was originally built as the minaret for the Mosque of Seville during the reign of the Almohad dynasty. It was commissioned in 1171 by caliph Abu Ya’qub Yusuf. However the onstruction was slowed down because another city’s sewer system needed to be redirected in order to create the foundations of the tower. The image on the left shows an illustrated image of what the Muslim minaret looked like before getting converted.

Furthermore, Europeans and Muslims have been coexisting for centuries now because of their science, philosophy and art resulting in more inspiration. During the Muslim reign there was an increase of artists, architects and engineers and they built Mosques, libraries and palaces; one of them being the Alcazar.  Other examples of famous Muslims include Valada, a princess of the Almohades she was renowned for her knowledge of poetry and rhetoric. Another  famed architect who contributed to the erection of the Giralda, and whose fame is the greatest, is Ahmad ibn BasoHowever, many of the Muslims religious buildings were converted into  Churches when the Muslim dynasties were forced out by Ferdinand the Third. The buildings were not completely destroyed, instead the new Spaniards incorporated the Moorish attributes and merged it with Christian and as a result it created a style known as Mudejar.

The Muslim Dynasties

Seville saw many Muslim dynasties like Califato de Cordoba, the Reinos Taifa and the Almohads. The Almohads were responsible for building Mosques, mansions and palaces throughout and even after their empire. They used geometric designs in their architecture which began by the empire before them: the Almoravids. Other constructions such as the Torre del Oro also known as the Golden Tower which is a defensive tower by the river,  was also made by the Almohads in 1220 in stone and was designed to be a watch tower to protect the docks.

Moreover, there are city walls and gates which were initially constructed during the Roman times but the Almoravids made the effective 6km long walls because it would defend the city against enemy attacks as well as floods from the Guadalquivir River. To summarise, the Muslims have certainly made a long lasting impact on the streets of Seville and have left their mark.