Salón de Embajadores

Historic Room in Granada

Salon De Embajadores, Palacio De Comres
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Shesmax

The Salón de Embajadores or Hall of the Ambassador is 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. This is the most majestic hall of the palace, where the throne was and where official receptions took place. It was the symbolic center of Nasrid power and that is revealed in the refinement and splendor of the rooms decoration. The hall is completely covered by decorative inscriptions: niches, arches, walls and dressing rooms, are all covered by poems.

What does the Salón de Embajadores look like?

The Salón de Embajadores is a square hall or “qubba”, of 11.30 x 11.30 meters and it is 18.20 meters high. Its floor was once made out of marble, although it is now made of clay floor tiles, with the coat of arms of the Alamares made of glazed ceramic tiles from the 16th century. The walls of the hall are 2.5 meters wide and have three arches each leading to three small rooms and twin balconies and windows above. Most of the space was in semidarkness and the lighting concentrated on the throne from dramatic effect.

Ceiling of the Salón de Embajadores

Some of the more most expensive materials that can be seen in the Hall of the Ambassadors are cedar wood and lapis lazuli. Cedar wood dominates the dome ceiling of the hall, where 8000 small cedar wood pieces make a delicate mosaic.  Lapis lazuli was imported from lands that today lie in Afghanistan. It was the equivalent price to gold, because it could be ground into an intensely blue powder which was used as pigment for painting. Today, you can still see the vividly blue lapis lazuli paint on the ceiling stuccoes within Yusuf’s palace. c

The dome is a wooden masterpiece of craftsmanship built in 1427 by Diego Ruiz. In the pattern of the ceiling are eight sixteen points stars, plus seven concentric circles. It is thought that the ceiling is a representation of the seven superimposed heavens of the Muslim cosmos (Qur’an 67:3), with God’s throne being the eighths one in the middle, represented by the central cube of mocarabes and the four trees of life are on the diagonals.

It is formed by cedar wood decorations covered by interlacing patterns, with a big cube of mocarabes in the middle, decorated with stars and painted in such a way that they seem nacre, silver and ivory.

Walls of the Salón de Embajadores

The walls are fully decorated with various types of stucco motifs. The dado board made of glazed pieces that form geometric figures, on top of which there is a very beautiful decoration of stylized vegetal forms combined with geometric elements. The cornice is of painted mocarabes, which is sometimes referred to as honeycomb or stalactite vaulting.

Windows of the Salón de Embajadores

A series of double arched windows illuminate the room and provide breathtaking views. Additional light is provided by arched grille with lattice windows set high in the walls. The name Comares comes from the Arabic camariyya, which means stained glass, and the tower was famous for its colorful windows. However they were destroyed by the explosion of a  gunpowder magazine the on the banks of the Darro, in the 16th century.

Poems and Wall Writings in the Salón de Embajadores

These are all praises to God or the emir, the Nasrid’s motto or texts from the Koran, just like the one in the central chamber on the spandrel of the throne’s arc, which reads as follows:

“Oh, God, fighter of the devil, please help me.
In name of God, who is merciful and has mercy.
Oh, God, please be company and salvation for our Master Mohammed and his generation.
And say: May the anger of God and of every devil that allows the disturbance of hell help me;
and deliver me from the evil of the envious ones when they are going to be envious.
And no deity but God is alive, whom we must praise eternally.Praise to the God of centuries.”

The central chamber is the most richly decorated of the palace. Next to this inscription there is a coffered interlacing part that covers the interior of the chamber, surrounded by a skirting board made of tiles and decorated with plaster-work.

The Floor of the Salón de Embajadores

The floor was paved in blue and white tiles which were garnished with gilt. The floor would have originally gleamed like porcelain, matching the brilliant polychromy of the walls and dado. Unfortunately none of these floor tiles remain here in situ. The surviving specimens are in the Alhambra museum and still gleam like porcelain when immersed in water; a few even retain a delicate gold arabesque.

There will be a cordoned off part tiles in the center of the room, directly under the apex of the ceiling, where you are not allowed to stand. This was also the case historically. Thought to be unique to the Muslim world, were floor tiles in the Alhambra which were inscribed with the name of God. They bore the dynasty’s motto, “There is no conqueror but God“, which is reiterated in the plaster-work all over the Alhambra.

The Sultans Throne in the Salón de Embajadores

The Sultans would sit in his throne which would occupy the central bay on the north side of the hall. He would be covered and protected by the ceiling and its Muslim heavens. The position of his throne beneath the canopy of heaven reinforced his delegated authority underneath God.

How do you get the the Salón de Embajadores?

A double arch connects this hall with the Sala de la Barca.

Other Names of the Salón de Embajadores

The Salón de Embajadores’ old name was the Middle Orange Hall was due to the magnificent dome.

The Salón de Embajadores appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Granada!

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Visiting Salón de Embajadores


For opening times of the Salón de Embajadores see Alhambra Opening Times.


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

Address: Salón de los Embajadores s/n Calle Real de la Alhambra 18009 Granada Spain
Telephone: +34 958 027 971
Duration: 10 minutes

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