Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 7, 2011

Palacios Nazaries – Alhambra’s jewel

To enter the royal palace is to enter another world. The palace was built mostly in the 14th century and is quite well preserved. The colours on the walls have faded and it is necesary to try to imagine what this place would have looked like filled with brightly coloured carpets strewn with exquisite cushions, wall hangings, curtains and stunning wooden furniture.

It is impossible to photograph entire rooms, all I can do is show you bits – very impressive bits.

in the mexuar – administrative rooms

another beautiful doorway

one of the columns

detail on the column

is this not incredible?

beautiful Arabic script on the walls

beautiful details

wooden ceiling

wall decoration

part of the Cuarto Dorado

beautiful wall

entrance arch to Salon de Comares

Salon de Comares

This was the throne room of the palace, where the sultan would sit opposite the entrance. The domed wooden ceiling consists of 8,017 pieces of inlaid wood. You could get a crick in you neck looking at this.

In 1492, after a 700 year battle, the Reconquista was finalised in this room when Boabdil, the last Moorish king signed the surrender.  In the same year Columbus stood before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel to convince them he could make a successful sea voyage to the east. Standing in here can make a person feel a touch insignificant.

looking up to the ceiling

calming water

Patio de los Arrayanes

The Court of Myrtles is named for the 2 myrtle hedges.

tile decoration

exquisite detail

looking up

amazing detail

imagine this in full colour

part of Palacio de los Leones

the ceiling of the Sala de los Abencerrajes

faded detail on the ceiling

the detail in this room is incredible

imagine living here

an arch to another room

this tiny alcove would have held something exquisite

The last few photos are of the private rooms of the Sultana, the main wife, mother of the future leader. They are the most sumptuous and highly decorated of all. They must have been incredibly beautiful in full colour with exquisite decorations. There was a big price to pay for living here. She was rarely allowed to leave.


  1. Beautiful photos again of a most wonderful building. The legend says that, after leaving the Alhambra, Boabdil looked back at it for the last time and cried. His mother then told him “Don’t cry as a woman for what you have not been able to defend as a man”. A very tough lady…..

    • I heard that too. It must have been truly awful to have to leave that place. Imagine how it would have looked when it was new and full of beautiful things – at a time when a lot of people lived in hovels.

  2. That detailing is incredible! :O Hypnotising really.

    • You could spends days there and not see everything.

  3. Those pictures are breathtaking! Thanks for pointing out the faded bits of paint, it was something that I had never noticed before. It’s remarkable that the blue tints are still there. I was planning to visit the Alhambra back in March, but after hearing that the Courtyard of the Lions was under renovation I thought I would save it for another time.

  4. When I enlarge the photo of the ceiling of the sala de los Abencerrajes it becomes the most extraordinary kaleidoscope. I can’t imagine how they designed and built such an exquisite interior. How sad that such a beautiful place was built for a woman who became a virtual prisoner – almost a queen bee in a fantastic hive – but then perhaps life outside would have been pretty darn grim.

    • Escher was inspired by the interiors at the palace – you can see it in his work. As lovely as it is I wouldn’t want to be stuck inside there all day, every day.

  5. […] rate well as I think it is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Palacios Nazaries – Alhambra’s jewel was also overlooked a bit. inside the […]

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