Sala de la Barca
Historic Room in Granada
The Sala de la Barca or Hall of the Boat is a room one of the rooms of the Palacio de Comares. Which is one of the palaces that make up the Palacio Nazaríes in the Alhambra Complex, in Granada, Spain.
What is the origin of the name Sala de la Barca?
The origin of its name is the Arabic word baraka, which means blessing, and is derived from the repetition of the word baraka on the walls. This degenerated into the Spanish word barca, which means boat. Its name may derive from the shape of its semi-cylinder vault, similar to the hull of an inverted ship.
What does the Sala de la Barca look like?
This rectangular hall is 24 meters long and 4.35 meters wide, but was apparently smaller at the beginning and later extended by Mohammed V.
Ceiling of the Sala de la Barca
At the end of the 16th century it was necessary to repaint the ceiling, so it was also known until recent times as the Golden Room. The ceiling has a semi-cylindrical vaulted shape and dimensions of the ceiling make it a strange and unique example. Unfortunately the original was destroyed by a fire in 1890 and it was replaced by a copy completed in 1964, based on drawings, photographs and salvaged pieces.
Walls of the Sala de la Barca
On the walls you will see plaster-work with the Nasrid coat of arms. The words for Blessing, “al-baraka” or blessing and the dynasty’s motto “Only God is Victor” repeated repeatedly in the plaster-work of its walls.
The hall is surrounded by a tiled dado and has tiled columns which hold canted arches of mocarabes and scallops.
There is a doorway in the east side of the wall separating the Sala de la Barca from the Salon de los Embajadores. This doorway was, in fact, the mihrab or prayer niche, of the sultan’s private musalla or oratory. Mistaking it for a blocked-up doorway, the archaeologist Leopoldo Torres Baibas cut through the wall at this point. It was subsequently closed it off again by inserting iron bars across the opening after the mistake was realized.
The Bedchambers of the Sala de la Barca
It is probably hard to envisage now but the Sala de la Barca was probably reserved for use as bedchambers of the Sultan. At either end of this room is an al-cjubba or alcove for the placement of a bed in the recess. Folding doors would have closed off the bedchambers to ensure privacy. The area of the bedchambers would have been deliminator by the two tiled arches. A door located in the west bedroom leads, after a double bend, to the main latrine of the Palacio de Comares.
Where is the Sala de la Barca located?
From the northern gallery of the Patio de los Arrayanes the Sala de la Barca can be found through a pointed arch of mocarabes.
Other names of Sala de la Barca
The Sala de la Barca has the following names: Sala de la Barca, Hall of the Boat, Sala de la Baraka, Hall of the Blessing, Golden Room..
Visiting Sala de la Barca
For opening times of the Sala de la Barca see Alhambra Opening Times.