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[文化博览] 【整理】2012-11-23 风情南西班牙 The Moorish South —15

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But the Christians were getting hungry for power and territory. And provoked by the rise of Islamic militancy, they decided to crusade against the infidel.
And so the reconquest began. A crusade that was to last for more than 500 years, a monumentally long and bloody campaign. This conflict would establish a peculiarly fervent form of Catholicism as the Spanish national religion. It was also the conflict from which modern Spain would emerge. During the 12th century, the Christians painfully edged into AD. And one by one, the Islamic cities fell. Then Seville itself was captured in 1248 after two years' siege. The Christian conquers of medieval Seville proclaimed: "Let us create such a building that future generations will take us for lunatics." Some statement of intent. So they demolished the great Mosque-- one they put up in its place. What Guinness Records tells me it's still the single largest Christian Cathedral in the world-- a great crushing symbol of the triumph of militant Christianity.The cathedral is built in North European style, Gothic in design, complete with high vaulting ceiling, flying batrachians and Christian symbols everywhere.
This might be the last place you'd expect to find traces of Islamic design. But if you look closely enough, it becomes clear that old habits die hard.
What's extraordinary about the Gothic style as done by the Spanish, especially the Spanish in the South, is, this incredible sense of over decoration. I mean, look at this altar piece.
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Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.
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