MUDÉJAR: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Mudejar مدجّن  can be translated as “domestic” or “domesticated”

It is an arabic term that is used to designate all the Muslims that stayed in the Iberian Peninsula after when it was reconquered by the Christians and who were also ruled by them.

At the beginning they were allowed to keep their religion, their language and their traditions. They lived in communities called aljamas or morerías and, depending on where they were, they had different degrees of subordination towards the Christian Crown, so that, some of them were treated like slaves while others were just farmers serving the feudal lord.

Most of the Mudejares were farmers or artisans. After awhile their life conditions changed, the tolerance decreased really quickly and the convivence was really hard. That’s when the butcheries got separated and the professional contacts or even marraiges between Mudejares and Christians were forbidden.

After the Reconquest of Granada in 1492 the concept “Mudejar” changed and it was used to designate all Muslims in the Peninsula. At first they had a good relationship with the Christians but then again the Christians broke ther promises and conditions so a lot of conflicts happened so that the Mudejares organized a revolt that ended up with the Christians creating a decree that said that the Muslims had to convert to Christianism, these Muslims became “Moriscos”. In spite of all these things, the “Moriscos” would practise their religion in a clandestin way, they kept their traditions and they still lived apart from the other Christians.

 

In Seville, we have kept a lot of the Mudejar Architecture, being nowadays one of the most unique types of Architecture we have: