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Home / Virtual tour / Nasrid Palaces

Nasrid Palaces

Mohammed ben Al-Hamar (Mohammed I) was the first king to move to the Alcazaba and no records about a new palace being built are kept until those of Abu l-Walid Ismail (fifth king of the dynasty). A palace was built near the Great Mosque (Gran Mezquita) but only the Mexuar is now left because Yusuf I destroyed it completely. He started some improvements in the Comares Tower (Torre de Comares), the Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes) and the Baths (Baños). These improvements were finished by Mohammed V, who added them all to the Mexuar, extended the gallery that would later be called Machuca and constructed the Palace of the Lions (Palacio de los Leones). These two kings were the most important ones as regards the construction, reconstruction, and decoration of the Alhambra. 

There are three independent areas in the Nasrid Palaces (Palacios Nazaríes): the Mexuar, which corresponds to the semipublic part of the palace or selamlik, for justice administration and State affairs; the Comares Palace (Palacio de Comares), which was the official residence of the king; and the Palace of the Lions (Palacio de los Leones), which was the private area of the palace, where the Harem was located. Not only were these areas different because of their functions, but also because of their artistic characteristics. The Comares Palace (Palacio de Comares) was decorated in a typically Muslim way, but the Palace of the Lions (Patio de los Leones) presents Christian influences, probably as a consequence of the friendship between Mohammed V and his Castilian counterpart Pedro I, the Cruel. 

Since the Catholic Monarchs took the city of Granada, a great number of restorations have been carried out, although the most important works were done under the order of Charles V, when several rooms were added to the Alhambra and the Charles V palace (Palacio de Carlos V) was built. Nevertheless, the Alhambra has always maintained its character of Muslim palace.

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