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Architecture of Tablao Flamenco Cordobes Barcelona

Tablao Flamenco Cordobes Barcelona decorations, inspired in the Nasrid architecture of the XVth century Andalusia, has been handcrafted by Napoleón Morillas and Antonio Zubeldia, the official restorers of Granadas’ famous palace, la Alhambra. Our loyalty to these decorative motifs tries to keep in mind the Arabic-andalusian culture as one of the main influences in the appearance of flamenco music.

Nasrid art origins

The Nasrid art represents the last stage of Hispanic-muslim art. It appeared around the XIIIth century and was present until the XVth century, becoming the precursor of the Mudejar art. Its main influence area was the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, but it was also present in Barbary and several areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The origin of the Nasrid art is tied to the decline of the Almohad Empire, weakened by the appearace of small kingdoms in al-Ándalus during the XIIIth century. In 1237, the Nasrid kingdom was born and its capital was located in Granada for more than 200 years. The Christian pressure during the Reconquest was increasing and forcing the kingdom lose ground until, in 1492, Granada surrendered and the last remnant of the Islamic power in the Peninsula disappeared, and with it the Nasrid art in al-Ándalus. The paradigm of this art is without any doubt Granada’s la Alhambra. Its name means Red Castle and stems from the Arabic “Qalat al-Ambra”. The fascinating building synthesizes both the Nasrid palatine and military architecture, which adds fortification elements. The complex has been declared UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and is an unparalleled symbol of palatine Islamic architecture. La Alhambra, together with the rest of buildings and edifications in Granada allow to establish the general characteristics of this art as an evolution of Hispanic-Muslim art, thanks to their style, colors and forms. The most distinctive aspects of this art are the complex ornamentations used to mask the poor materials used in the constructions. Examples of this are the stucco plaster, the tiled plinths and skirtings or painted decorations. Other common traits are the cylindrical shaft columns and the double capitals, similar to the tablao’s, one cylindrical with bands and the other cubical with acanthus. The wooden covers are usually alternated with vaults with plaster Muqarbas and the most common arches are the semicircular round cambered and foiled arches.

Connection to flamenco

Most experts agree linking arabic music to flamenco. Even then, it is still impossible to prove empirically, as the transmission of knowledge by then was still done orally. The most accepted explanation claims that flamenco was developed from popular Andalusian music, which was still heavily influenced by Arab culture, creating melismatas with Arab elements in the XIXth century Andalusia. According to the flamenco academic Hipólito Rossy, it is possible to find many similarities between flamenco and Arabic musical culture: “… in the constant and abusive use of embellishment notes, trills, melismatas, glissandi or portamenti (…) The use of ascending appoggiatura, when beginning the song or some turns or phrases during the song (…) The inclusion of the moorish zambra in flamenco music and its influence in some songs from Murcia and Andalusia, such as the tango, the taranto and the binary rondeña…” This music and this art was developed in flamenco tablaos, historical stage of this art form that has undoubtedly influenced some expression forms of Spanish XIXth and XXth century’s art and culture.

The tablao’s decoration

To celebrate its 30th Anniversaty, Tablao Flamenco Cordobes Barcelona started new structure works and the redecoration of its restaurant. The style was reshaped and great craftsmanship from Granada’s art school was incorporated. Master craftmen turned the venue into a fascinating example of this Andalusian art form. With the objective of approaching the architectural wonders of Andalusia, Tablao Flamenco Cordobes acquired the distinctive style of la Alhambra, remembering the great influence of Arabic music in the origins of flamenco.