Math at its finest.. in Art

Seems like I’m really taking awhile on these photos from spring break. I am summarizing the next three cities Rosy and I traveled to since our time spent in these were much more brief in comparison to the rest of our 11 day trip in Spain. While we were in Sevilla, we realized the beach of Cadiz was only one hour away, so we decided to do some research. We discovered that Lagos which is a beautiful beach destination in Portugal was also only a four hour bus ride for 30 euros round trip. This meant changing our itinerary slightly, but we barely hesitated. Being far from our South Florida home for already 2 months, we were so nostalgic!

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The bus ride seemed so long, but when we arrived it was an absolute treasure.IMG_3633

 There would be these little openings that are made through these giant stones which you can walk/crawl through to get to the adjacent beach. Every turn was so exciting just to see the next natural formation of rocks.

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Now onto Granada where we stayed for two days. Here I am at the top of the Generalife of the Alhambra Palace. This was probably the peak of my art historical goal for the break. Other than the Baroque period, Islamic art and architecture as a whole is probably one of my favorite topics to study in art history.

IMG_3924The creation of iconic religious imagery was forbidden so the use of geometric, vegetal, and calligraphic designs flourished in Islamic art as you can see in the detail of the walls.
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I can’t read Arabic but because this phrase was isolated, it might be the al-fatiha which is the verse the appears at the first of every chapter except the 9th in the Quran. Correct me if I’m wrong.

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This photo is when I entered the Court of the Lions. This is the beginning of the muqarnas, which is honeycomb vaulting. It basically looks like honey combs.

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Artists that mastered this design created it via a geometrical type formula that would produce these evolving, connecting shapes and forms similar to honey combs.

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Another detail of the infinite wall decorations exhibiting exemplary stone carvings.

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I forgot which room this was, but this is a muqarnas dome

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The Hall of Two Sisters.. really famous and really breathtaking. The muqarnas is supposed to create an almost out of body experience when looking up it puts you into a trance. Can you imagine they designed this mathematically and drew it out before doing this… Here’s a link to a pretty cool computer recreation: Muqarnas Dome (it’s a PDF)

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Close up of the Hall of the Abencerrages. I am still speechless when I see this. If you ever wondered what limits can embrace creativity, I think restricting artists from using literal icons and idols is a great example.

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And of course, the food.. I have to admit Granada is great for its famous tapas gratis. If you buy one drink you get a free tapa. This came with my order for free. It was almost like an Italian suppli, but I honestly have no idea what it was because I just asked for what they recommended. It was a fried, melt in your mouth ball of munchy heaven.

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On another note, this restaurant only had a poorly written chalkboard menu, so we only understood the word “tortillas,” which is what Rosy decided to order. This is a good example of what free tapas can get you lol. So it was a hit or miss.

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They were big on montaditos and bocaditos. I thought it was interesting how they used mini bagels.

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Mmmm fried fish con una cerveza.

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Seafood cocktail yumm. It was dirt cheap and delicious, but I have to admit Sevilla still topped all our cheap bites because of the quality.

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The street markets are filled with Turkish influences as you can see here.

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Also, our trip to Granada fell on the first day of Semana Santa, or Holy Week by accident. We got to see a very interesting feat of religous activities…

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All the girls were dressed in these black outfits with epic head dresses.

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But nothing tops these head dresses. (No, not KKK) Apparently different colors meant they belonged to different brotherhoods. Sevilla is actually the prime place for Holy Week in Spain, but thank goodness we weren’t there because it was already an insane festival in Granada. I didn’t get photos of the giant religious structure they carry though.

 In Granada we had such a restful time in comparison with our whole break. We probably only slept in a bed for a proper 8 hours in two instances. The first was in Sevilla and then in Granada, otherwise we slept on trains/planes/etc. After Granada, we took a train to Madrid to catch our flight out. We had about 7 hours to kill and were able to go to Museo del Prado which was one of the top on my Museum Bucket List. It was awesome to see so many important Dutch, Flemish and Spanish works. Overall, it was really a successful spring break in Spain. I love it and I could live there, but I am glad to have studied in Rome because it is much more culturally stubborn and less Americanized. Barcelona definitely sits in the happy medium between Miami and Europe lol.

Thanks for reading/looking if you did :)

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