Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Art History and International Studies

First Advisor

Professor Kristin Triff


This art history thesis focuses on the structure of the Alhambra and the significance of elements of the palace complex. This text provides historical context to the Nasrid Empire in Spain as well as the history behind the Alhambra palace. Most importantly, this thesis analyzes the role of religion and examines how Islamic ideals are expressed through architecture. Setting the stage and providing historical context to the history and relationships between Muslims and Christians are important portions of this thesis.

The Alhambra is an extraordinary structure because of its scale. The Alhambra can be thought of as embodying a relationship between poetry and decorative programs. Understanding the religious symbols and significance is important to better examine the Alhambra. The Great Mosque of Cordoba is considered in order to provide some background into other Islamic architectural projects in Spain.

This thesis includes a close analysis on the specific structures and components of the Alhambra. The way the materials of the palace respond to the issues of climate indicate the artists’ intentions by incorporating the topography and geography of the space. The decorative program such as inscriptions, stucco carving, and muqarnas stucco decoration provide character to the palace complex.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Art History.