The Alhambra and The Alcazar (Spain)

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The Palaces

The Alhambra and Reales Alcázeres are palaces in Spain dating to the 14th century. The rulers who had these building constructed were Moors and hence Moslims. Their art consists to a large degree of geometric designs.

The Reales Alcázeres is also known as Alcázar of Seville. This royal palace was built in the 1360s. The Alcazar is listed as a Unesco World heritage Site.

The Alhambra dates from the same time period. Like the Alcazar, the Alhambra was also originally built as a fortress, and later used as a palace. The Alhambra is also listed as a Unesco World heritage Site.

The Alhambra and Reales Alcázeres
Palace1.jpg Palace2.jpg
The Palace as seen from the yard Pillars
Palace3.jpg Palace-crop.jpg
Palace Window Wall with decorations


There are many examples of rozettes. Sometimes the rosette shows up as a seperate tile. Other times we can lift a patetrn from a larger border or tiling. The most common rozettes in these palaces are ones with no reflectional symmetry. Quite a few of the rozette are created with ribbons showing under- and over-crossings. Any ribbon work like that usually leads to what we call a purely cyclic pattern. The only symmetries present are rotational symmetries. Rozette-Spain1.jpg

Some of the panels on a wall may be decorated with one pattern. Such larger panels often have just 2 fold rotational symmetry, even though smaller components may have more symmetry than that.

Rozette1.jpg Rozette-wall.jpg Wall-part.jpg

In close-up we see some of the individual smaller rozettes. The most common rotational symmetries are of degree 4 and 8. An ocassional design with no symmetries is possible.

Rozette3.jpg Rozette4.jpg Rozette2.jpg Rozette-Spain2.jpg
Rosette-Spain5.jpg Rozette-Spain6.jpg Rozette-Spain7.jpg Rozette-Spain8.jpg

Border Patterns

Border Patterns
Alhambra-border1.jpg Alhambra-border2.jpg
Border Border
Alhambra-border3.jpg Border-Alcazar.jpg
Border Patterns Border used above a tiling
Alcazararch1.jpg AlcazarArch2.jpg
Border on the inside of an arch Border on the inside of an arch

Wallpaper Patterns

Wallpaper Patterns
AlhambraWall1.jpg AlhambraWall2.jpg AlhambraWall3.jpg
Carved tiling Tiling Tiling
Andalucia Piet dag 3 en 4 112.jpg AlhambraWall5.jpg Andalucia dag 12 036.jpg
A tiling with 3-fold rotations A mosaic tile A hexagonal Pattern
Alcazar2.jpg Alcazar3.jpg Alcazar4.jpg
Tiling Tiling A semi-regular Tessellation