The Harem - Alhambra

Brief description of the monument

The Harem was an exclusively feminine space. An extraordinary viewpoint, open to the patio by three arches, which would have a lattice at the time, allowed the contemplation of the concubines of the same without originals of this room, with extraordinary styling.

Monument history

Contrary to what is popularly thought to be a Harem, this is only the home of the president, where there are no official receptions, or protocol, in short, where the monarch developed his family life inside the palace, far from the idea that the Harem was where the sultan kept his wives away from the rest of the world, constantly guarded by a court of eunuchs, and where only the sultan had the allowed access. Quite the contrary, tradition says that one day Muhammad was playing with his grandchildren, but the prophet received visits from friends and faithful very often and without prior notice. So that day a group of faithful came to visit him without warning and drew the curtain behind which Muhammad wallowed on the floor with the children. It seems that surprising the great teacher in that attitude was not to the liking of the prophet or his disciples, so, after that incident, Muhammad began to speak to his followers that it was necessary to enable a part of the house for use exclusive of the family, where the entrance to the visitors was prohibited. Perhaps because of this usual mistake, these dependencies have been called Harem, which corresponded with the quarters of the three wives of the Sultan, although the fourth wife, who was "the favorite" (the sultans used to have four wives), lived apart of the others, probably in the Captive Tower, where Doña Isabel de Solís lived, called in Granada Zoraya, and that was Muley Hacén's favorite. We access the Harem through a corridor illuminated by arches with lattices, finding in the center the viewpoint of the south gallery of the Patio de los Leones. Of these rooms there is only the courtyard, which occupies the center, which has two porches of three arches supported by columns. A central arch, in the eastern portico, allows us to access the rooms, which were equal to those of the western side, which disappeared when the Palace of Carlos V was built.The walls of the courtyard have a striped decoration with an ocher painted plinth. , blue and black, and a carved eave, with a plasterwork of circles and inscriptions of praise to the Sultan and the motto of the dynasty.