The mosque complex comprises a cloister-like colonnade in the east (1779–84) and a main building (1782–86) flanked by two minarets (1786–95) in the west
In Germany, Islamic-style designs borrowed from mosque architecture were used in a wide range of contexts, but none of them religious or in line with Islamic principles. This late 18th-century garden “mosque”, in the Turkish style and part of the Schwetzingen Palace complex in Germany, is the earliest of its kind in the country.
1790; 1841; 1863
Park of Monserrate, Sintra, Portugal
The Palace of Monserrate in Sintra was completed in 1863. It blends a range of European design features with those of India and the Arab world, the latter a clear reference to the legacy of Arab art and culture in Portuguese history.
Institut Supérieur d’Histoire Contemporaine de la Tunisie
La Manouba, Tunis, Tunisia
Mata Nacional do Buçaco, Portugal
Between 1888 and 1933, the architectural assemblage at Bussaco (Baçaco) took shape. Its eclectic buildings – such as the Palace Hotel – include a wide range of Arab and Islamic details referencing Portugal’s historic encounter with the Arab world.
Musée Public National des Antiquités
The French Arabist, philologist and artist Louis-Adrien Berbrugger (1801–69) arrived in Algeria in 1835. Unusually for the time, Berbrugger settled in Algeria and married a Muslim woman, and then empathetically studied the culture around him.
Given their long shared history with the Arab world, Portugal, Spain and Italy in particular revived elements of Arab and Islamic architecture in some constructions of the 19th century. The Pena Palace in Sintra – the Royal family’s summer residence – is an eclectic and exotic building that also incorporates neo-Islamic styles.
This mosque-style building in Potsdam near Berlin was erected in the 1840s to hide a steam-pump engine that was used to pump water up to the main fountains at Sanssouci. The exterior of the building borrows “Oriental” design elements and clearly imitates Moorish architecture.
Portuguese interiors, too, could reveal a distinct “Oriental” feel in the 19th century. Most spectacular is the Arabian room at the heart of the Oporto Bourse Palace, with its neo-Moorish features inspired by the Alhambra in Granada, built between 1862 and 1880.
In 1837, King Wilhelm I of Württemberg commissioned court architect Karl Ludwig von Zanth to design buildings in the Moorish style for his “Wilhelma” gardens. The aim was to create a sensual fairytale world that, not least, might help him and his guests escape the real one.
National Museum of Romanticism
“Oriental” women and their lives fascinated European painters. This scene, within a Moorish palace in Algiers, seems to depict the family’s private quarters or even the harem, both areas to which most outsiders never gained access. Nevertheless, engravings like this one were often used by Orientalist artists as the basis for their paintings.
Musée National des Beaux-Arts
This preparatory study of the Bey of Constantine is by the French artist Théodore Chassériau (1819–1909). It gives the impression of being the type of preparatory sketch typically made by artists during their travels and later used as aids-mémoire for larger, more complex compositions and paintings once back home.
Victoria and Albert Museum
London, United Kingdom