Highlights of Arab-Islamic Architecture in Western Europe with Tiago Neiva

Highlights of Arab-Islamic Architecture in Western Europe with Tiago Neiva


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Join us for a virtual exploration of several incredible landmarks of Arab and Islamic heritage, as we venture across Western Europe – focusing on Portugal, Spain, and Italy. Together we will explore many popular mosques, palaces, museums, and archeological sites. But our conversation will also lead us off the beaten path to explore several baths, ribats, and hidden gems which are best enjoyed in the company of a local guide. Our conversation will focus on contextualizing the region's incredible tourist destination through the lens of its architects.

 During the 7th century AD, Arab Muslim armies under the command of the Prophet Muhammad began their conquest. Moving from North Africa across the Strait of Gibraltar, they successfully defeat the Hispanic Visigothic Kingdom. From the 8th to the late 15th century, parts of the land area which today is known as the Iberian Peninsula was called Al-Andalus. Southern France and Southern Italy were also enveloped into this vast Empire (ruled by local dynasties) which ruled the Mediterranean. This presence will change the trajectory of Europe for centuries. During our time together we will examine the surviving art and architecture which remains a source of inspiration for curious travelers and academic researchers alike.  While based in any major Iberian or southern Italian city, so many hidden treasures are in reach.

Led by an expert on Architecture and Art History, Tiago Miranda Neiva, this interactive seminar will present and contextualize some of the best (and often hidden) Arab-Islamic sites in Western Europe. Our discussion will be organized in such a way that we can follow the narrative timeline of Islamic influences spreading across western Europe during antiquity. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better knowledge of Arab-Islamic History and legacy in Portugal, Spain, and Italy. 

Tiago Miranda Neiva was born and raised in Lisbon. He studied architecture in Rome and worked later in distinct offices in Portugal and Spain. For several years he was Professor of Arts and Art History, having a Master's degree in Teaching of Visual Arts. He is currently working towards a PhD focused on the Art and Architecture of al-Andalus: the confluence between the Arab, Jewish and Christian medieval world. In recent years he has been working as a tour guide in his hometown, seeking to show and reveal its most intimate secrets through an authentic and passionate local vision.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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