Rocks of Jebel Musa in Morocco is 14 km from the southern tip of Spain, separated by the Mediterrian Sea. In ancient times, these rocks were pillars of Hercules, the western borders of the known world. Several factors shaped the geographical history of the region, such as the presence of mountains, the lack of navigable rivers and seas. The ubiquitous sea ports and the nature of the indented coastline was possible to build a maritime power in the region. On the other hand, such as Europe and Africa, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean region, located at the junction, to forge mighty overseas colonial empire in the history of the discoveries. The Iberian Peninsula has always been at the same time the various tribes and civilizations target of conquest, and crossroads of peoples.
In 711 Tariq ibn Zijad with his 12,000 Muslim soldiers crossed the strait and conquered the Iberian peninsula. The Moorish settled down in the rich and fertile valleys of the Guadalquivir. Although they could not conquer France, they are founded a vast state, called al Andaluz , which was there for more than eight hundred years. In the 10th century the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordóba’s reign was really golden age, when the muslims and the christians lived together harmony. There has been a boom in trade, sciences and arts began to flourish. Cordoba was one of the largest city with half a million inhabitants. The town had libraries, schools and hospitals as well. The Arabic Scientists have extraordinary mathematical, astronomical and philosophical knowledge possessed. Their works translated into Latin, so they gave their accumulated knowledge to Europe. The Arabic doctors spread foundations of the homeopathic healing. They published the first studies dealing with herbs. They recognized the music’s curative effect. For example, they offered flute music for the mentally ill like calmative. In addition, the Andalusian basin they many new varieties of plants at that time put it, such as rice, sugar cane, cotton, lemon and many other tropical fruits. The Arabs further improved irrigation management by the Romans, whose most significant result of the use of water wheels was because they were able to help you easily raise the waters of the rivers on fields. There has been a boom in the animal husbandry, got into the arabic blood, which improved the livestock of horse and sheep. The manufacture of glass, pottery, leather crafts and not least, silk, fur and marble processing was very important. Although more than 500 years the moorish were hounded out from Spain, the Islamic heritage is still available: name of measure of capacity or agricultural products, and the magnificent Islamic buildings. The Great Mosque (The Mezquita) of Cordoba’s foundation stone was laid down in 786 and was buiding for two hundred years. The Mezquita is regarded as the one of the most accomplished monuments of Islamic architecture. It was described by the poet Muhammad Iqbal: “Sacred for lovers of art, you are the glory of faith, You have made Andalusia pure as a holy land!” There is a gold-tiled mihrab (prayer niche), which is orient towards Mecca. Another architectural masterpiece is the Alhambra’s Moorish palaces. Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds.” The Alhambra integrates natural site qualities with constructed structures and gardens, and is a testament to Moorish culture in Spain and the skills of Muslim.
Undoubtedly, the presence of the Moorish civilization and its seductive charm is a lasting value still in the cradle of Mediterranean culture.
Written by Ilona Kaszanyi
Reference: Wie geschah es wirklich? (p. 326-328)