Page 105

MOORISH ARCHITECTURE

IN SPAIN

only what the Arab himself or the Arabised

Moor

6i

cared to

express.

As

far as is

known, the Arabs of Arabia before the

birth of

Islam had no system of architecture. The Koran mentions no form of art. They were a rude, uncultivated people, lovers of

unconquered and little known by the old dynasties that closed them in. They were nomads, wandering Bedouins whose solitude,

roving restlessly from camp to camp over their vast extent of barren desert, which barely produced sufficient to nourish them, dwelling in the most primitive tents lives

or

were spent

mud

which spot.

in

and displaying none of the desire to erect buildings, the natural outcome of a people's taste to settle in one

huts,

is

A

wanderer's

life

was imposed upon them by the peculiar life which our civilisation of to-day

conditions of the desert, a

unable to change. Only the richer dwellers in cities, the houses had brick flat-roofed as they are to-day, and merchants, is all

no doubt clustered together so as to form the narrow belts of shade which are the Arab's conception of a street. The interiors were spread with carpets, and again with felt rugs, upon which the master and his guests sat, much as do the Arabs of our time. But no indigenous architecture seems to have existed, nor

indeed literature, civilisation.

or any of the rightful weapons of Arabs were, perhaps, the most uncivilised of

art, science,

The who were

under their religious sway. They were ignorant, for all we know, of the very name of Africa as the name was then understood and it is strange to think that all

the races

destined to

fall

;

and so conservative, so far too from barbarism, should have left no milestone of their history, not a page to commemorate their love of story and song, not a weapon or a a people so old

broidery to attest their chief delight and only luxury.

Whatever

buildings existed in Arabia at that day must have displayed the same simplicity as their character and ways of life. Even in Mecca there were but few buildings other than of sun-dried

Profile for kamutef

In the track of the Moors -Sketches in Spain and Northern Africa  

Impressions of Spain.- Andalusia.- Granada.- Origins of Moorish architecture in Spain.- The Moorish gardens of Spain.- Arabesque and Azulejo...

In the track of the Moors -Sketches in Spain and Northern Africa  

Impressions of Spain.- Andalusia.- Granada.- Origins of Moorish architecture in Spain.- The Moorish gardens of Spain.- Arabesque and Azulejo...

Profile for kamutef
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