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Arts and Science

Not just Córdoba shone ... but the whole of Al-Andalus over which its caliph presided. In the end, it would be Al-Andalus's vast intellectual wealth, inseparable from its prosperity in the material realm, that made it the 'ornament of the world.'
Maria Rosa Menocal, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
Key Buildings - Slideshow
The Art of Islamic Spain
Flight of the Blackbird
Andalusi Poetry
Science in Al-Andalus

Muslims ruled the Iberian Peninsula for more than 700 years. During that time, individuals of different faiths excelled in science, philosophy, theology, agriculture, art, and architecture. Their lasting contributions created an advanced, thriving culture.

Islamic Spain also enjoyed the influences of other Muslim lands. They incorporated many of these pioneering ideas into their own society. As a result, Islamic Spain soon became a center of innovation for both material culture and the sciences.

Since that time, the contributions of Andalusi society have had a lasting effect on world culture. So much of what we know and employ today dates back to Islamic Spain. Modern-day science, technology, art, architecture, and even clothing and dining etiquette can all find their roots centuries earlier in Islamic Spain.

Video Clips

Córdoba's great poet and musician, Ziryab

Jewish scholar and physician Hasdai ibn Shaprut

The Material Culture of Al-Andalus

Pick 'n click on 25 different cultural areas of this interactive grid for in-depth, engaging entries -- from medicine, music, and metallurgy, to cuisine, calligraphy, and games.

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DISCLAIMER: This purpose of this website is to provide supplemental information to the Cities of Light film and is not intended as a scholarly or academic resource. For scholars' sources, see the Recommended Readings section on this site. Articles reprinted from other sources reflect the views and opinions of the authors, and may not necessarily mirror those of UPF.