In 711 AD Moors from North Africa conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula, and retained portions of it for 800 years. Granada was the last stronghold, and a symbol of economic, cultural, and artistic prosperity until it too was overcome in 1492. The city’s glory is embodied in the magnificent Alhambra, a compound of palaces and gardens that is a masterpiece of Moorish style. It appears that a primary goal of the architects was to cover every single inch with decoration. As Islam bans the representation of figures of any kind, the decorative elements are made up of complex, detailed, and intertwining geometric and floral images, and Arabic script.
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