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https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/publications/exhibition_catalogues/2008_12_akm_toledo_exhibition_leaflet.pdf
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Geographies of Islam

Of the several places in Europe where we are giving glimpses of masterpieces of Islamic art from the collection of the future Aga Khan Museum in Canada, Toledo is incomparable. Its history, spanning more than seven hundred years during which different religious communities lived together in peace, have made its name famous world-wide. Toledo reached its zenith and became one of the intellectual and scientific capitals of the world during the Islamic caliphate of Cordoba (929 – 1031). ‘Convivencia’ – the Spanish word for living together harmoniously – is not a simple concept. It is, of course, the term used to describe the co-existence of different faiths in medieval Spain. The code of ‘convivencia’ was about tolerance and much more. In Toledo, Córdoba and Granada it implied mutual respect as well as an appreciation of science and scholarship, and of different traditions. The acquisition of knowledge was not an end in itself, but rather a way to understand the beauty of God’s creation.