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Al-Andalus is the Arabic name for the southern of the Iberian Peninsula, governed by Muslims from 711 to 1492. It was the last part of Spain to by taken by the Reconquista, culminating in the fall of Granada in 1942. Al-Andalus was always the heart of Islamic Spain, and as such has many of the finest examples of Moorish architecture, such as the Alhambra palace in Granada and the great mosque of Cordoba, as well as examples of military and engineering architecture such as the Alcazar of Almeria, or the great saqqiyah of Cordoba.
The cities of Andalucia were home to the academic heart of the Islamic empire from the 11th century onwards, though unlike in Egypt, where they became the centres of modern universities such as Al Azahar, they were mostly looted following the Reconquista, and their collections destroyed or dispersed.
The modern Spanish region of Andalucia incorporates most of the areas of historical Al-Andalus, and the modern urban centres are all key cities from this period, including Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Jaen, Malaga and Seville. However other major Moorish cities have since declined, such as Antequera, Baeza, Úbeda and others.
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