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Moorish Revival architecture

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Title: Moorish Revival architecture  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Neo-Mudéjar, Helena Civic Center, Adamson House, Zagreb Synagogue, Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul
Collection: Architectural Styles, House Styles, Moorish Revival Architecture, Orientalism by Type, Spanish Revival Architecture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Moorish Revival architecture

Palace of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Moorish Revival or Neo-Moorish is one of the exotic revival architectural styles that were adopted by architects of Europe and the Americas in the wake of the Romanticist fascination with all things oriental. It reached the height of its popularity after the mid-19th century, part of a widening vocabulary of articulated decorative ornament drawn from historical sources beyond familiar classical and Gothic modes.


  • In Europe 1
  • In the United States 2
  • Theaters 3
    • In the United States 3.1
    • Around the world 3.2
  • Synagogues 4
    • Europe 4.1
    • United States 4.2
    • Latin America 4.3
  • Churches and cathedrals 5
  • Shriners Temples 6
  • Other buildings 7
  • Gallery 8
  • See also 9
  • Notes 10
  • Sources 11
  • External links 12

In Europe

Southern garden façade of Alupka Palace with a massive central exedra forming an open mosque-like vestibule
The Jama Masjid mosque was the inspiration for Blore's design.[1]

The "Moorish" garden structures built at Sheringham Hall, Norfolk, ca. 1812, were an unusual touch at the time, a parallel to chinoiserie, as a dream vision of fanciful whimsy, not meant to be taken seriously; however, as early as 1826, Edward Blore used Islamic arches, domes of various size and shapes and other details of Near Eastern Islamic architecture to great effect in his design for Alupka Palace in Crimea, a cultural setting that had already been penetrated by authentic Ottoman styles. By the mid-19th century, the style was adopted by the Jews of Central Europe, who associated Moorish and Mudéjar architectural forms with the golden age of Jewry in medieval Muslim Spain. As a consequence, Moorish Revival spread around the globe as a preferred style of synagogue architecture.

In Spain, the country conceived as the place of origin of Moorish ornamentation, the interest in this sort of architecture fluctuated from province to province. The mainstream was called Sammezzano, one of Europe's largest and most elaborate Moorish Revival structures, in Tuscany between 1853 and 1889.

Lithography of the Moorish Castle, a theater built in Moorish Architecture. Location was Frederiksberg, Denmark

Although Carlo Bugatti employed Moorish arcading among the exotic features of his furniture, shown at the 1902 exhibition at Turin, by that time the Moorish Revival was very much on the wane almost everywhere. A notable exceptions were Imperial Russia, where the shell-encrusted Morozov House in Moscow (a stylisation of the Pena National Palace in Sintra), the Neo-Mameluk Dulber palace in Koreiz, and the palace in Likani exemplified the continuing development of the style.

Another exception was Bosnia, where, after its occupation by Austria-Hungary, the new authorities commissioned a range of Neo-Moorish structures. The aim was to promote Bosnian national identity while avoiding its association with either the Ottoman Empire or the growing pan-Slavic movement by creating an "Islamic architecture of European fantasy".[2] This included application of ornamentations and other Moorish design strategies neither of which had much to do with prior architectural direction of indigenous Bosnian architecture. The central post office in Sarajevo, for example, follows distinct formal characteristics of design like clarity of form, symmetry, and proportion while the interior followed the same doctrine. The National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo is an example of Pseudo Moorish architectural language using decorations and pointed arches while still integrating other formal elements into the design.

In the United States

In the United States, Santa Barbara, California.[4]


In the United States

Fox Theatre (Atlanta, Georgia)
Theater City and State Architect Date
Alhambra Theatre El Paso, Texas Henry C. Trost 1914
Alhambra Theatre Evansville, Indiana Frank J. Schlotter 1913
Alhambra Theatre Birmingham, Alabama Graven & Maygar 1927
Alhambra Theatre Hopkinsville, Kentucky John Walker 1928
Alhambra Theatre San Francisco, California Miller and Pflueger 1925
Altria Theater Richmond, Virginia Marcellus Wright Sr., Charles M. Robinson 1927
Bagdad Theatre Portland, Oregon Thomas & Mercier 1927
The Carpenter Center Richmond, Virginia John Eberson 1928
Civic Theatre Akron, Ohio John Eberson 1929
Emporia Granada Theatre Emporia, Kansas Boller Brothers 1929
Fox Theatre Atlanta, Georgia Mayre, Alger & Vinour 1929
Fox Theatre North Platte, Nebraska Elmer F. Behrens 1929
Granada Theater The Dalles, Oregon William Cutts 1929
Keith's Flushing Theater Queens, New York Thomas Lamb 1928
Olympic Theatre Miami, Florida John Eberson 1926
Liberty Theatre North Bend, Oregon Tourtellotte & Hummel 1924
Lincoln Theater Los Angeles, California John Paxton Perrine 1927
Loew's 72nd Street Theatre New York City Thomas W. Lamb 1932 (dem.)
The Majestic Theatre San Antonio, Texas John Eberson 1929
Mount Baker Theatre Bellingham, Washington Robert Reamer 1927
Music Box Theatre Chicago, Illinois Louis J. Simon 1929
Palace Theatre Canton, Ohio John Eberson 1926
Plaza Theatre El Paso, Texas W. Scott Donne 1930
Saenger Theater Hattiesburg, Mississippi Emile Weil 1929
Shrine Auditorium Los Angeles, California Lansburgh, Austin and Edelman 1926
Sooner Theatre Norman, Oklahoma Harold Gimeno 1929
Temple Theatre Meridian, Mississippi Emile Weil 1927
Tennessee Theatre Knoxville, Tennessee Graven & Mayger 1928
Tower Theatre Los Angeles, California S. Charles Lee 1927

Around the world

Theater Photo City and State Country Architect Date
Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre Tbilisi Georgia Giovanni Scudieri 1851, rebuilt 1896
Eastern Arcade (former Palace/Metro Theatre) Melbourne, Victoria Australia Hyndman & Bates 1894 (demolished in 2008)
Odessa Philharmonic Theater Odessa Ukraine Alexander Bernardazzi 1898
State/Forum Theatre Melbourne, Victoria Australia Bohringer, Taylor & Johnson 1929



United States

Latin America

Churches and cathedrals

  • The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar (1825–1832) an early example of Moorish revival architecture is located in Gibraltar, which formed part of Moorish Al-Andalus between 711 and 1462 AD.
  • Immaculate Conception Church (New Orleans), (a.k.a. Jesuit Church) is a striking example of Moorish Revival Architecture. Across the street was the College of the Immaculate Conception, housing a chapel with two stained glass domes. The chapel was disassembled and about half of it (one of the stained glass domes, eleven of the windows) was installed in the present Jesuit High School.

Shriners Temples

Murat Shrine, Indianapolis, Indiana
Tripoli Shrine Temple, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Shriners, a fraternal organization, often chose a Moorish Revival style for their Temples. Architecturally notable Shriners Temples include:

Other buildings


See also


  1. ^ Brett, C.E.B. (2005). Towers of Crim Tartary : English and Scottish architects and craftsmen in the Crimea, 1762–1853.  
  2. ^ Joseph, Suad; Najmabadi, Afsaneh (2003). Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures: Economics, education, mobility, and space.  
  3. ^ John C. Poppeliers, S. Allen Chambers Jr. What Style Is It: A Guide to American Architecture, p. 63. ISBN 0-471-25036-8 .
  4. ^ Gebhard, David. Santa Barbara Architecture, from Spanish Colonial to Modern. Capra Press. Santa Barbara. 1980. (later editions avail.) p. 109
  5. ^ [1]


  • Naylor, David, Great American Movie Theaters, The Preservation Press, Washington, D.C., 1987
  • Thorne, Ross, Picture Palace Architecture in Australia, Sun Books Pty. Ltd., South Melbourne, Australia, 1976

External links

  • Moorish Revival in New York Architecture
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