The Hendecagonal Stars in the Alhambra

Dirk Huylebrouck and Antonia Redondo
Proceedings of Bridges 2016: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Education, Culture (2016)
Pages 497–500 Short Papers


The ceilings of the pavilions of the Court of Lions in the Alhambra (Granada, Spain) are masterpieces of the Nasrid woodwork. Made in pinewood by the ‘ataurejado’ technique they display a highly unusual decoration in eleven-sided or hendecagonal rosettes. The geometric explanation of the patterns given in the present paper considers the domes as a near miss polyhedron with eleven-sided faces or as a snub cube. It implies the cupolas of the pavilions can be considered as two early examples of (parts of) those polyhedra.