Arabic place names - ranging from simply colorful to historically memorable - dot the landscape of present-day Spain. They tell us much about the ebb and flow of Arab conquest and settlement in al-Andalus.
Even when rival Córdoba was capital of al-Andalus, Seville was the richest, most powerful city in the realm. The city remains a living monument to its glory days: more than 500 years of Islamic rule.
Just 10 months before Columbus landed in the New World, the last Arab kingdom in Spain fell to Castilian forces. Today, despite the passage of five centuries, al-Andalus continues to cast its spell.
This monarch wrote poetry "as beautiful as the bud when it opens to disclose the flower," said one chronicler. Al-Mu'tamid's life, with its dramatic twists, was a metaphor for the rise and fall of Islamic Spain.
Muslim artisans working under Christian rule inherited the legacy of Islamic art from al-Andalus. They carried its captivating beauty, in a new context, to the Spanish colonies of the New World.