Oriental Exoticism

Even if the cities and landscapes in which the Moorish legacy is felt more strongly were the most visited, the life and feelings of their people were as interesting as historic, buildings. Patios and their neighbours, the profusion of flowers, life our of doors, markets, fountains, dress and feminine attitudes; and naturally, the coquetry od fans, captivated or, at least, surprised the Anglo- Saxon and Central- European, used to life indoors. The noble families and the bourgeoisie received these visitors at parties and luncheons, and thus they were able to observe the twofold functionalism of houses: the top floor kept for winter and the ground floor used during the long summers.

In Granada, the gyosy dances and the caves of Sacromonte transported the traveller to a world both unusual and archaic, already suspected in the seductive patios of the Alhambra that was beginning to be restored in 1843. At the other end of Andalusia, night full of flickering torches in the mosque at Cordiva or the stark solitude of the ruins of Medina Azahara- residence at one time of the Caliphs only five kilometres from Cordova- evoked a fearlessness and a fortitude of spirit in accordance with the romantic ideal.

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