Palacio del Mexuar
Palace in Granada
The Palacio del Mexuar or Palace of the Mexuar is one of the three palaces of the Palacio Nazaríes, in the Alhambra Complex, in Granada, Spain. The other palaces are the and the Palacio de los Leones.
You will enter the Palaces through the Mexuar. This is a 14th-century room used as a ministerial council chamber and antechamber for those awaiting audiences with the emir. The public would have gone no further. The hall was restored by Muhammad V.
You can find four columns at the center of this room embellished with muqarnas. The beautifully carved ceiling origins from the Christian period, decorated with paintings and gold motifs. The second floor of this courtroom is smaller in size and at the north endpoint is a courtyard that leads into the oratory.
During 1632, these rooms were converted into a Christian chapel and a choir was built by Emperor Carlos V.
The oldest part of the Nasrid Palaces, this section is also the most changed by later uses. The azulejo-clad audience chamber and courtroom was used for the public administration of justice and for large assemblies. After the Christian conquest, this space was used as a chapel, and you can see the balustraded balcony that was once the choir.
On the left of the adjoining Patio del Mexuar is the Cuarto Dorado (Golden Chamber), which features one of the finest facades of this Alhambra palace. This area is all that remains of the Palacio Real; the other rooms of this palace were destroyed by Yúsuf I or his son Muhammad V.
The council chamber, the main reception hall of the Mexuar, is the first room you enter. It was completed in 1365 and hailed (perhaps obsequiously) by the court poet and vizier Ibn Zamrak as a “haven of counsel, mercy and favour”. Here the sultan heard the pleas and petitions of the people and held meetings with his ministers. At the room’s far end is a small oratory, one of a number of prayer niches scattered round the palace and immediately identifiable by their angular alignment to face Mecca.
This “public” section of the palace, beyond which few would have penetrated, is completed by the Mudéjar Cuarto Dorado (Golden Room), redecorated under Carlos V, whose Plus Ultra motif appears throughout the palace, and the Patio del Cuarto Dorado. This latter has perhaps the grandest facade of the whole palace, for it admits you to the formal splendour of the Serallo.
Visiting Palacio del Mexuar
For opening times of the Palacio del Mexuar see Alhambra Opening Times.
The Palacio del Mexuar is part of the Alhambra Complex and access it you need to purchase Alhambra Tickets or a Alhambra Guided Tour.