The Mexuar (Alhambra)
Short description of the monument
This room, called MEXUAR, was ordered to be constructed by “Ismail” and later on was restored by “Muhammad V”.
At this room the Council of Ministers or “Sura” had their reunions and it was also used as waiting room when the sultan imparted justice.
This room has been reformed; at first it had two floors. From the second floor is where the sultan could see and watch everybody without being seen.
The floor we can now see was smaller in size, and at the north end there was a courtyard which led to the oratory. The reform was made under the rule of the Emperor Carlos V who used it as a chapel. The ornamentation is totally actual.
History of the monument
It is difficult to know how the Mexuar was originally constructed, since the numerous reforms and reconstructions that has suffered have changed it that much that it is impossible to know how the rooms that are not in ruins were like. According to the poems of “Ibn Zamrak” we could say that it belonged to the primitive “nazarie” alcazar. As much as the reforms made after the Christian conquest as the explosion of a powder magazine in 1590, which caused great damage, have made large modifications on the distribution and the communication. Actually, what remains of all the rooms, located next to the tower of “Mohamed I”, are the eastern nave called the Mexuar, which has also been changed by the Christians, the gallery or the “Machuca” Tower, named so because it was the residence of the architects “Pedro and Luis Machuca” during the construction of the Palace of Carlos V.
As an example of what has been told above, the exterior of the walls of the Mexuar have suffered so many alterations that it is impossible to know how they were originally. We find four columns at the center of the room, with corbels embellished with “muqarbas” (decorative motif based on vertically juxtaposed bows or prisms). On the plaster fret you can read: <>. The carved and panelled ceiling is from the Christian period, decorated with bows details. The upper part of the wall is decorated with plasterworks, gold motifs and paintings, while the socles are made with tiles and also have the nazarie motto (of the “Alamares”), the court of arms of Carlos V and the family buckler of the “Mendozas”(nobiliary Castilian family), since “D. Iñigo López de Mendoza” (Earl of Tendilla) was named Lord Major by the Catholic Kings. We can also find the plates with Hercules columns and Moorish knots of the 16th century.
At the end of this hall, there is a room used by the monarch to summon the council and hold meetings. When the king was not in palace, the “Cadí”, at the adjoining room, was who listened to the dealers. At the door, a tile from the wall reads: <> Afterwards, around 1632, these rooms were converted into a Christian chapel and a choir was built.
• “Granada en tus manos. Alhambra y Generalife”. Author: Carlos Vílchez Vílchez. Ideal – 2006.