Courtyard of the Arrayanes - Alhambra

Brief description of the monument

It is also called Patio de los MIRTOS, ARRAYANES or ALBERCA depending on the elements it presents in the patio. This palace was started by ISMAIL I, continuing through YUSUF I and finished by his son MOHAMED V in 1370. It was the official headquarters of the Sultan, although he had other palaces. The original function of Comares was to house the executive, government power.

We can divide it into four zones. A first would be the north set of COMARES, which contains the AMBASSADORS 'ROOM, used for private receptions, and THE BOAT ROOM used for rest. The south side was reserved for concubines and service, while on the east and west sides were the rooms of the four wives of the Sultan.

Monument history

The Patio de los Arrayanes has been called in various ways over time. The current denomination (like that of Patio de los Mirtos) is due to the arrayanes (or myrtle) massifs whose vivid green color contrasts with the white marble floor of the patio, and that surround the central pond. It was also called Patio del Estanque or de la Alberca, precisely by this pond, 34 meters by 7.10 meters, which divides the patio lengthwise and is supplied with water thanks to two marble piles located at each end.

On both sides of the courtyard there are two chambers of chambers and, on the smaller sides, there are some porches, supported by columns of cubic capitals, of seven semicircular arches adorned with openwork diamonds and inscriptions of praise to God. The central arch is larger than the other six, and features massive slashes with ataurique decoration and mocharabe capitals.

The southern gallery has at its extreme cupboards with vasares of morarabes and the following legend: "The help and protection of God and a splendid victory for our Lord Abu Abd 'Allah, emir of the Muslims." The vast majority of the inscriptions that appear in this courtyard are praise to God or the Emir. The dependencies that existed in this southern portico were partially demolished to build the Palace of Carlos V. On the top floor, on a corridor, we found a gallery of six arches and a higher lintel in the center, with wooden shoes, staggered and covered of ataurique, with lattices of the late nineteenth century.

As we have indicated previously, there are different rooms that have disappeared but from which we have found signs that allow us to know that they existed. The demolition of these rooms has grown the legend that Emperor Charles V destroyed the winter palace of the Alhambra to build his own, although several scholars, although they have not fully agreed on what it was that was in those rooms do agree that there is no indication of the existence of that winter palace.

The side ships were used as a women's residence. On the ground floor there are several doors that connect (or connected) with different units. The decoration of the patio in this gallery, except the tile base was redone during the 19th century, adorning it as the opposite portico.

In the upper part of the north gallery, after which the Comares Tower stands, there is a parapet with two small lateral towers, which were redone in 1890 when the roof of this gallery and the one in the next room were burned. The ends of the gallery have cupboards with arches, domes and vasares of mocárabes, on a tile base from the end of the 16th century, which presents an inscription in its upper part corresponding to a poem by Ibn Zamrak, in honor of Mohamed V after the conquest of Algeciras in 1368.