Lifelong Learning Institute, Manassas

LLI: The Mystery and Glories of the Moors in Spain

Hylton Performing Arts Center, Jacquemin Family Foundation Rehearsal Hall


Speaker/Host: Joyce Johnston

For seven hundred years they ruled half of Spain, yet most Americans have never heard of them. Almost 700,000 tourists roam the gardens of Segovia each year but have no idea who originally built the soaring alcazar or the exquisite gardens. Southern Spain’s soaring aqueducts and dramatic castles have inspired modern icons as diverse as Disney’s Cinderella’s castle and Game of Thrones’ Castle Dorne, yet their designers have completely vanished. Who were these gifted, sophisticated people whose own jealous infighting tore them apart until only their magnificent creations were left behind to speak for them?

Joyce Johnston’s lifetime of travel as an Army brat has given her a love of unexplored places and a taste for adventure. She has maintained her love of diverse cultures for 33 years with her multinational students at George Mason University, as well as in frequent travel with her husband Craig. In previous LLI presentations Joyce has shared her experiences in venues as diverse as the cities of Eastern Europe and life above the arctic circle. She has also recently spoken to LLI about the wonders of the Alhambra. These wonders inspired her to learn more about the people who were capable of producing them, and she is happy to bring the results to LLI.

This event is open to the public. For more information about the Lifelong Learning Institute, Manassas, visit