Palacio de los Leones
Palace in Granada
The Palacio de los Leones or Palace of the Lions is one of the palaces that make up the Palacio Nazaríes in the Alhambra Complex, in Granada, Spain. It was built in the second half of the 14th century, by the command of Muhammad V. This palace comprised of private rooms which belonged to the royal family. Lion’s Palace is built at an angle between the Patio de los Arrayanes and the Baths.
The palace is built around the Patio de los Leones or Lion Courtyard, with its marble fountain channeling water through the mouths of 12 marble lions. It is enclosed by several beautiful galleries which give access to different rooms.
At the north of this courtyard, you can find the Sala de Ajimeces, Sala de Dos Hermanas and the Mirador de Daraxa. On the east is the Reyes Hall, on the west is the Mocarabes Hall and on the south is the Harem and the Sala de los Abencerrajes.
The Legend of the Harem
We mentioned that above the Sala de los Abencerrajes was the Harem, you may be imagining a place where the sultan kept his wives isolated, under the constantly vigilant eyes of scimitar weilding eunuchs. The reality was that a Harém was simply the king’s home without official receptions or protocol, the place where he could spend time with his family.
A legend tells a story of Mohammed, who was often visited by friends and the faithful. One day he was playing with his grandchildren when a group of the faithful arrived to his house and, without asking for permission came into the room where Mohammed was playing on the floor with the children. Neither the prophet, nor his disciples enjoyed the scene and after that Mohammed started telling his followers that it was important to fit out a part of the house for the exclusive use of the family, a place visitors would not be allowed to enter.
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Visiting Palacio de los Leones
For opening times of the Palacio de los Leones see Alhambra Opening Times.