Palacio de Comares
Palace in Granada
The Palacio de Comares or Comares Palace was the official residence of the king and it comprises several rooms that surrounded the Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes). The rooms have galleries with porticoes at the ends. Some examples are the Hall of the Boat (Sala de la Barca) to the north and the Hall of the Ambassadors (Salón de los Embajadores) inside the Comares Tower (Torre de Comares), from which a view over the valley of the river Darro may be enjoyed.
Yusuf I wanted his official residence’s decoration to amaze the visitor, so he ordered the architects to build it and adorn it in a exquisite way, although he probably did not see the final result, as several inscriptions affirm that his son Mohammed V was responsible for it. Mohammed V finished the works and constructed a façade on the southern side of the Patio of the Gilded Room (Patio del Cuarto Dorado).
The Comares Palace in the Alhambra in Granada is made up of a group of units grouped around the Patio de los Arrayanes, with porticoed galleries at the ends, the Sala de la Barca and the Sala de los Embajadores, which occupies the inside the Comares Tower, from where the Darro valley is dominated.
Yusuf I wanted the decoration of his official residence to amaze the visitor, so he ordered it to be exquisitely built and decorated, although he probably did not see this work finished, since various inscriptions attribute his authorship to his son Mohamed V.
It is the most important palace, official residence of the Sultan and place where the throne room was located. It was built and richly decorated by Yusuf I, to whom we owe a large part of the existing buildings in the Alhambra.
In the Golden Court we find the entrance façade to this palace, of great beauty and built by Muhamed V, son of Yusuf I. Two doors open on it, the one on the right gave access to family dependencies and the one on the left ( where the visit continues) to the official area of the palace. The decoration is very rich throughout the facade, with ceramic plinth, and plasterwork, highlighting the beautiful wooden eaves.
Continuing the visit, we arrive at the Patio de los Arrayanes, also known as de la Alberca and Comares. It is a classic patio of the Arab-Andalusian type, with two porticos on its smaller sides, a large pool in which the buildings are reflected, surrounded by arrayan massifs, and two marble piles that pour their waters into the pond. The porticos have 7 semicircular arches, the central one being larger, with openwork plaster cloths. Two floors rise above the south porch, one with seven wooden lattice windows, the central one being double, and the other upper one with a gallery over the patio. The dependencies of the south portico were destroyed when the palace of Carlos V was built, which is attached to it.
On the north side we find the largest room in the entire Alhambra, the Hall of Ambassadors, an old throne room. This room is sheltered inside the Comares Tower, which with its 45 m. high is the largest of the entire fortress. To get to it, and after crossing the portico, we find, first of all, the Barca room, with a beautiful wooden ceiling, a copy of the original that burned in a fire in the 19th century; as a curious note to say that, behind the door that opens on the left side of this room is the latrine of the palace, which cannot be visited. Leaving the Barque room, in the space between it and the Ambassadors Hall, we can see, on the right, a small oratory, probably reserved for the Sultan.
We arrived at the Ambassadors Hall, wrapped in a relaxing gloom. The lighting comes from the windows present in the dressing rooms that open on the walls, three for each wall. In the central one, in front of the door, was where the throne was located and is the most richly decorated. Higher up, a series of openwork windows illuminate the beautiful wooden ceiling, which represents the seven heavens of the Islamic cosmos that runs through the soul of the believer until he finds Allah. Again in the courtyard, we will continue the visit through a room on the east side, which communicates with the Palace of the Lions. This communication is modern, since formerly these two palaces were not directly connected.
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