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The Power of Symbols

The Alhambra in a Global Perspective

Edited By Francine Giese and Ariane Varela Braga

This volume intends to foster a re-interpretation of the Nasrid architecture of the Alhambra in Granada and its post-Islamic appropriation and global diffusion. Taking into account the current debates on otherness, cultural exchange and artistic transfer, hybridization, stylistic renewal and national identity building, this collection of essays explores the significance of the Alhambra from the Nasrid period to the present time. Built as a military fortress and gradually enlarged to a multi-functional palace city, by the 19th century the Alhambra became a symbol of exoticism and reverie. As one of the most important legacies of the Islamic heritage of al-Andalus, its role as a mediator between East and West is more important than ever.

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Slivers of Light: Stained Glass in Al-Andalus (Sarah Keller)


Slivers of Light: Stained Glass in Al-­Andalus

Sarah Keller

Light is an essential part of the architecture of Al-­Andalus. It is tempered, filtered, guided and structured through architectonical elements as the muqarnas ceiling or as the stucco grille windows, the transennae. Coloured light and stained glass windows, however, are not a common feature of Spanish-­Islamic architecture.

In the 19th century nonetheless several buildings, which copied the Spanish-­Islamic architecture and showed rich colourful glazing, were conceived. Some of these Moorish Revival buildings shall be presented briefly.

Maurischer Kiosk, park of Linderhof

Since 1876 the Maurischer Kiosk is placed in the garden of the castle Linderhof in Oberbayern. Carl von Diebitsch constructed this small pavilion as Prussia’s contribution to the International exhibition in Paris in 1867. For a period of six months during 1846–1847, Diebitsch was spending 12 hours a day in the Alhambra where he made numerous sketches and watercolours of the building1. Part of these studies he incorporated into his Maurischer Kiosk. For example the Sala de los Reyes or the Sala de las Dos Hermanas of the Alhambra show cupolas with a similar disposal of windows as in the Kiosk. Its original stained glass windows are lost, but documented in a contemporary image (fig. 1). In 1876 they were replaced by new windows, designed by the court architect Georg Dollmann (fig. 2)2. However, whereas rich stained glass windows have been decorating the Kiosk...

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