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
Palace5.jpg
Carvings

Rozettes

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 are quite interesting, and they appear as borders to the larger tilings, but they also appear on some of the benches as decoration. Note for instance the borders decorating the back and the bottom part of this seating area:

Border-bench-1.jpg

This bench - outside on the grounds - shows a tiling across the front of the seat:

Border-bench2.jpg

This bench shows three different border patterns on the back of the seat and the pattern on the front also appears as a full tessellation on some walls.

Border-bench3.jpg
Alhambra-border1.jpg Alhambra-border2.jpg
Alhambra-border3.jpg Border-Alcazar.jpg
Alcazararch1.jpg AlcazarArch2.jpg

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