Nasrid Palace

Picture of wall_detail The highlight of the Alhambra is the Nasrid Palace which is in actuality several different palaces connected together. This is part of the walls in the second room in the palace, called the Golden Room. This is where the emirs would have given audiences. The stucco detailing on the walls here is typical for nearly all the rooms in the Nasrid Palace.
Picture of designs This wall is actually an outside wall, facing into the Patio of the Golden Room (just outside the Golden Room). The sunlight makes this substantially more golden than the inside of the golden room.
Picture of nasrid_courtyard The next courtyard one comes to is this one, the Patio de los Arrayanes (patio of the Myrtles). This section was the private residence of Emir Yusuf I (1333-1354). The enormous wall rising behind this is the palace of Carlos V (see the Granada page) which was built a couple hundred years later.
Picture of david_courtyard The rooms around the Patio of the Myrtles are particularly impressive for their marquetry ceilings. The ceiling of the Comares Hall where the Muslim leaders met Christian emissaries has more than 8000 pieces of cedar wood. This is David in the next courtyard, the Patio of the Lions which was built by Mohammed V (1354-1391).
Picture of columns The patio and this palace (Palace of the lions) are named after the fountain in the center of the courtyard which you can just see part of here. The fountain is also connected in the four cardinal directions to rooms via water channels like the one that can be seen here. This particular channel leads into the Hall of the Kings (named from a mural painting). There are 124 marble columns surrounding this courtyard.
Picture of window The southern room from this courtyard is now called the Sala de los Abencerrajes. This is connected to the story of Abu al-Hasan and Zoraya, his harem favorite. The head of the Abencerrajes clan allegedly had an affair with Zoraya and in revenge, Abu al-Hasan murdered the entire family in this room.
Picture of dome This is called a muqarnas, which is the inside of a dome worked into an elaborate pattern. The word comes from the word for honeycomb, and this muqarnas contains over 5000 'cells'.
Picture of garden Moving into a newer part of the palace, this is the Patio de Lindaraja which dates from the 1520s and was built for Carlos I. Stylistically it isn't that different from the Muslim sections but the detailing is not nearly as intricate. Washington Irving lived here for a while as well and wrote 'Tales of the Alhambra' during his stay.
Picture of us Just off this newest section is a series of cave-like rooms and passages which represent one of the oldest surviving sections of the Alhambra. Somehow they survived more or less intact as the newest palaces built up around it over the years.
Picture of reflection After the palace comes more formal gardens of course. These are the Jardines del Partal which are heavily terraced and surround yet more palaces. This is part of the Palacio del Portico which dates from 1305. If you have any film left in your camera after all this, there are some spectacular views of the Albayzin from these gardens.

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