The Alhambra

Paradise on Earth

5 July 2023 - 6 August 2023
9:30 AM to 6:00 PM daily
Open Space Gallery, IAMM

The Andalusian legacy developed over almost seven centuries in the history of Spain (711-1492). The artistic, scientific and cultural contribution of the different Muslim kingdoms of Al Andalus was therefore profound. The Caliphate of Cordoba in the 9th to 11th centuries and the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada in the 13th to 15th  centuries were the most enduring peaks of that splendour; both kingdoms were at the cultural summit not only of the Iberian Peninsula but of the entire European continent and the Islamic world of their time.

The palace complex of the Alhambra (‘The Red Castle’) in Granada occupies a privileged place in this history. Its proud silhouette against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada (Snow-covered Mountains) in Granada is a symbol of the political upheavals within Al Andalus and its cultural achievements. The Alhambra is the most refined expression of the Nasrid kingdom and an icon of Spanish historical-artistic heritage and of humanity.

The Alhambra is the most visited monument in Spain and originally included a citadel, palaces, mosques and gardens. In all these aims, the Alhambra's builders succeeded triumphantly. Despite continuous extensions and  further building activities, they obtained an harmonious ensemble of both serene and sublime beauty. The building is a reflection of the advanced knowledge of mathematics  and  astronomy, unrivalled in Europe at the time. Nothing in the Alhambra has been left to chance. Nor in the exterior, where the use of water, vegetation and even the air itself is precisely calculated, conveying the idea of an oasis, a garden of paradise on earth.

This photography exhibition, organised by the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, the Patronato de La Alhambra and the Spanish Embassy in Malaysia, aimed to bring visitors a little closer to the spell (“embrujo”) that the Alhambra has cast for centuries and continues to cast on us today.

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