After 650 years, the wisdom of the Alhambra is revealed





Visitors to the Alhambra fortress-palace in Granada have for centuries fallen into a reverie before its intricately carved medieval walls, wondering at the meaning of the Arabic inscriptions that adorn them from floor to ceiling. The script that winds round the filigree arches and pillared courtyards is so stylised that it's often difficult to disentangle words from images, and few can decipher the classical Arabic in which they are written.

Now, the carvings have been logged and translated, finally answering the question that has perplexed generations of visitors to Europe's jewel of Muslim architecture: "What are these walls telling me?"

Researchers have produced an interactive DVD that decodes, dates and identifies 3,116 of some 10,000 inscriptions carved on the building that symbolises centuries of Muslim rule in Spain and is today the country's top tourist landmark.



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