Madrasa de los Príncipes

Ruins in Granada

The Madrasa de los Príncipes or Madrasa of the Princes, was part of the Palacio del Mexuar. The Palacio del Mexuar is one of the palaces that make up the Palacio Nazaríes in the Alhambra Complex, in Granada, Spain. All that you can see of this small courtyard are the foundations of the walls.

This was a Madrasa or Koranic school was intended for young people belonging to the Nasrid royalty, here the princes were educated in theology, philosophy and science. There are only remnants of what originally had been, a study room, an oratory, a basin for ablutions and other rooms for those who worked there. In the study room there was a place where the alpha-teacher was placed.

The Madrasa de los Príncipes would have been the first patio that people come to when entering the Palacio del Mexuar. You would have walked through the  courtyard and up a short staircase to reach the second patio, known as Patio de Machuca.

What did the Madrasa de los Príncipes look like?

The layout of the madrasahs was determined by the Persians in the 11th century, based on a square central courtyard around which four pavilions are located. The one located to the South, was the one dedicated to study. In the South-East corner of the building there was a small oratory and its minaret, its ground floor clearly differentiates itself from the rest because it is oriented towards Mecca as is mandatory, which translates into an imbalance of its walls with respect to the rest of the complex. The other pavilions must have housed the rooms of the students, teachers, libraries, etc, all of which were lost over time.

Where does Madrasa de los Príncipes get its name?

The Madrasa de los Príncipes or Madrasa of the Princes has its name as it was a Madrasa exclusively for the children of the family of kings, that is why it was called the Madrasa of the Princes. Its full name would have been Patio de la Madraza de los Principes or Court of the Madrasa of the Princes. Madrasa can also be spelt Madraza.

It has also been called the Mezquita del Mexuar or Courtyard of the Mosque. It has also been called the Primer Patio or First Patio as it is the first patio visitors would come to.

Where is the Mezquita del Mexuar located?

The entrance to the Mezquita del Mexuar was directly to the south of the Torre de Mohamed, ans the main patio to the west of the
Patio de Machuca.

Where is the best place to see the Mezquita del Mexuar?

Although it is part of the Palacio Nazaríes, access is restricted. You will have a good view if you are queuing for the guided tour of the Palacio Nazaríes. You can also view it for free from the Plaza de Los Aljibes or from within the Alcazaba fortress from the top of the Torre del Cubo.

The Madrasa de los Príncipes appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Granada!

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Visiting Madrasa de los Príncipes


For opening times of the Madrasa de los Príncipes see Alhambra Opening Times.


The Madrasa de los Príncipes is part of the Alhambra Complex and access it you need to purchase Alhambra Tickets or a Alhambra Guided Tour.

Duration: 5 minutes

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