The Comares Palace was the official residence of the king and it comprises several rooms that surrounded the Patio de los Arrayanes. Its building was initiated by the Nasrid ruler of Granada, Ismail I (1314–25), and continued by Yusuf I (1333–54), though he was assassinated before he could complete the work. So Muhammad V finished it in 1370.
The Sultans wanted this palace to amaze the visitor, so he ordered the architects to build it and adorn it in a exquisite way. The Palace surrounds the Patio de los Arrayanes. The courtyard would be vitally important, it is the core of and building around which all the other rooms are distributed.
Facade of the Palace of Comares
Behind El Mexuar stands the formal and elaborate Comares façade set back from a courtyard and fountain. The façade is built on a raised three-stepped platform that might have served as a kind of outdoor stage for the ruler. The carved stucco façade was once painted in brilliant colors, though only traces remain.
A dark winding passage beyond the Comares façade leads to a covered patio surrounding a large courtyard with a pool, now known as the Court of the Myrtles.Read more about the Facade of the Palace of Comares
Court of the Myrtles
The Patio de los Arrayanes or Court of the Myrtles is the central courtyard of the Palacio de Comares. The elegant and tranquil space takes its name from the myrtle hedges that surround the beautiful reflecting pool. Finely carved arches atop marble pillars form porticoes at both ends of the patio.
Situated at the northern and southern and ends of the pool are the fountains, and behind the fountains are the corridors, each with seven exquisitely embellished arches. As you can see, the middle arch is higher than the other six.
This southern façade have wooden panels decorated with fretwork or intricate carvings and Koranic inscriptions. Across the center are lattice windows with a classic, Moorish arch design. The chambers that originally occupied the second floor were truncated during the construction of the adjacent Palace of Charles V.
The north end of the Court of the Myrtles is similar to the south, although single story. In the background is Comares Tower, built in the first half of the 14th century.Read more about the Patio de los Arrayanes
Sala de la Barca
The Sala de la Barca or Hall of the Boat is entered via a pointed arch of mocarabes, in the northern gallery of the Court of the Myrtles.
The origin of its name is the Arabic word for blessing, and which seems to have degenerated into the Spanish word barca, which means boat. Although the shape of the ceiling does suggest the inverted hull of a boat, so that could be another reason for it. The original ceiling was destroyed by a fire in 1890 and it was replaced by a copy in 1964.
On the walls you will see plaster work with the Nasrid coat of arms and, inside it, the word “Blessing” and the dynasty’s motto “Only God is Victor”.
The ends of the hall were bedchambers, and the upper floors the Sultans winter quarters. The double arch in the northern wall leads to the Hall of the Ambassadors.Read more about the Sala de la Barca
Hall of the Ambassadors
The Salón de Embajadores or Hall of the Ambassadors is the centerpiece of the Royal Palaces. The Hall is covered by a majestic dome of gilded wood. The ceiling, has a symbolic layout, emphasized the power of the Sultan, sitting on his throne and presiding over the room.
The lower part of the wall are tiles above which a rich plaster-work combines geometrical patterns with vegetal patterns decorated with leaf and flower motifs.Read more about the Salón de Embajadores
As you walk down the eastern side of the Court of the Myrtles try and get glimpses of the Moorish baths of the palace. Although not normally open to the public, unless it forms part of the ‘Space of the Month’, you can see parts of it as you walk around here and in the Palacio de los Leones. The baths are two story and from the Court of the Myrtles you would enter and descend to the steam rooms. The whole steam area of the hammam is covered with vaults perforated with a multitude of star shaped skylights, which were used for lighting and vents.Read more about the El Baño de Comares
Tours and Activities from Granada
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15 Best things to see and do in Granada
Granada is a fascinating part of Spain with a rich history and culture. As with any city it is packed with attractions and monuments to explore – starting with the the amazing Alhambra fortress and the old Moorish neighborhood of Albaicín and Sacromonte, cracking street art, great tapas bars and a annual fiesta.
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The Nasrid palaces are what everyone thinks of when the Alhambra is mentioned. The Alhambra’s most celebrated structures are the three original royal palaces built by the Nasrid rulers during the 14th Century when they moved out of the Alcazaba into more comfortable accommodation.
Generalife Alhambra | The Architects Garden
Generalife occupies the slopes of the Cerro del Sol or Hill of the Sun, across the valley from the Nasrid Palaces. The Generalife was built in the 13th century as a leisure place for the kings of Granada when they wanted to get away from the official affairs of the palace.
Alcazaba Alhambra | The Fortress of Alhambra
The history of Granada is somewhat distinctive from most of Spain. Lying just a couple of hundred kilometers from Morocco, this part of Spain has experienced the best of the Moorish era.
The Nasrid Palaces | Palace of the Lions
In the Alhambra, the Palace of the Lions or El Palacio de los Leones marks the highlight of its splendor. The Palacio de los Leones (Palace of the Lions) stands next to the Comares Palace but should be considered an independent building.
The Nasrid Palaces | The Comres Palace
The Comares Palace was the official residence of the king and it comprises several rooms that surrounded the Patio de los Arrayanes. Its building was initiated by the Nasrid ruler of Granada, Ismail I (1314–25), and continued by Yusuf I (1333–54), though he was assassinated before he could complete the work.
The Nasrid Palaces | The Mexuar
The Mexuar was the first palace to be built by Ismail I at the start of the 14th Century. This became the semi public part of the palaces administering justice and controlling state affairs.
Boabdil, the last King of Granada
Abu Abdullah was the twenty-second and last Nasrid ruler of Granada in Iberia. Boabdil is a Spanish rendering of the name Abu Abdullah.
The Nasrid Dynasty
The Nasrid dynasty was the last Moorish and Muslim dynasty in Spain. The dynasty rose to power after the defeat of the Almohad Caliphate in 1212 at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.