Ambassadors Hall - Alhambra

Brief description of the monument

XIII-XIV centuries

This hall of the Alhambra was the symbolic center of Nasrid power that is revealed in the refinement and splendor of the decoration. It has a quadrangular plant and opens inside the Comares tower. It is the most spacious room and here the great council presided by the king was held in the presence of all the greats of the kingdom: visires, ulemas, mayor, captains. It was also used for receptions of envoys or other senior people.

Monument history

This is the most majestic palace room, where the throne was located and official receptions were held.

The room communicates with the Sala de la Barca by a double arch. It is a square room, 11.30 side by 18.20 high, that had marble floor, although today it is made of clay tiles, in which the shield of the Alamares, made in tiles, is observed in the center in the sixteenth century. The other walls of the room each have three arches that give three dressing rooms open in the thick wall 2.5 meters thick, with twin balconies and windows above.

We can see that the room has been filled with decorative inscriptions: tacas, niches, arches, walls, dressing rooms, etc. are full of poems, praises to God, the emir, the motto of the Nasrids or texts of the Koran, such as the one we find in the central chamber, that of the throne, located in the alfiz of its arch, which according to the translation of Echevarría pray like this:

«Help me stoning God of the devil. In the name of God who is merciful and has mercy. To be, God, with our Lord Muhammad and his generation, company and salvation. And say: My help from the wrath of God and all the devil that allows hell to break; and I free myself from the evil of the envious when he prepares to envy. And there is no other divinity alive than that of God to whom to praise eternally. Praise the God of the ages. »

The central chamber is the most rich in terms of its decoration. Next to the previous inscription of the alfiz, we find a coffered ceiling that covers the inside of the chamber, which is surrounded by a tiled base, adorned with plasterwork.

The room is surrounded by a base of glazed pieces forming geometric figures, on which we can admire a beautiful decoration of atauriques covering the wall, combining geometric and vegetal elements with great harmony, topped by a cornice of painted morarabes. According to Fernández-Puertas, the roof is presented as the representation of the Seven Skies of the Islamic Paradise, with the throne of God located in the eighth heaven, represented by the central cube of mocarabes, and the four trees of life located in the diagonals . The dome is a masterpiece of carpentry. It is composed of cedar wood cloths covered with laceria, with a large cube of mocharabes in the center, dotted with a multitude of stars, painted in such a way that they look like mother-of-pearl, silver and ivory.

This distribution not only provided a fresh atmosphere as most of the space was in darkness, but also the light came from outside producing effects of intense lighting that concentrated on the throne.