Antonio Almagro is an architect, PhD and a research professor specialized in Islamic architecture at the Granada School of Arab Studies, of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), recently retired. He has developed his professional activity in the General Direction of Fine Arts, in the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain and in the aforementioned School. He has been, for many years, Delegate of Spain in the General Assemblies and Member of the ICCROM Council; consultant for UNESCO in photogrammetry and in the valuation and restoration of various monuments and complexes, developing a great deal of international activity in this area. It is worth highlighting his work on Islamic architecture, both in Spain and in other countries of the Mediterranean area.
Presentation Title: The Islamic World as a Space for the Dissemination of Forms and Knowledge: Some Examples in the Field of Architecture
From the eighth century onward, the Islamic world extended from the Atlantic to the Indus River covering a wide range of territories and nations that soon became interrelated. Despite the early fragmentation of this political unity, the commercial and cultural relationships that had been established remained very active due to two unquestionable facts: a shared language and a shared religion, both of which were deeply intertwined. The presence of certain forms and especially very unique construction techniques in very distant places within the vast territories through which Islam spread in its first centuries of existence show the undoubted role it played in the dissemination of knowledge and aesthetic concepts, which although taken from other preceding civilizations, became a substantial part of Islamic culture. The analysis of some of these cases that appear in Al-Andalus, the western end of the medieval Islamic world, undoubtedly coming from the other end of that world, serves as a clear confirmation of these processes.