Lions Palace - Alhambra

Brief description of the monument

In this palace the Nasrid art reaches its maximum splendor, in which a beauty of incomparable sensitivity and harmony is achieved, where light, water, color, exquisite decoration, makes this palace a wonderful pleasure for the senses , in which the previous period of more abstract and geometric decorations is left behind to give way to a more naturalistic style, undoubtedly influenced by the Christian, enhanced by the friendship between Mohamed V and Pedro I, the Cruel, at that time Christian monarch

Monument history

When Mohamed V succeeded his father Yusuf I (1377), he did not limit himself to finishing the reforms he had begun, but began to build what would be his great work, the magnificent legacy he left us in the Alhambra: the Palace of the Lions. This palace constituted the private rooms of the royal family, and was built at the angle formed by the Baths and the Patio de los Arrayanes.

The palace is composed of a central courtyard surrounded by column galleries as a Christian cloister, which allows access to different rooms: west of the Mocárabes, east of the Kings, north of Dos Hermanas, Ajimeces and Mirador de Daraxa and to the south of the Abencerrajes and the Harem. There are no windows that look outside, but there is an interior garden that corresponds to the Muslim idea of ​​paradise. What today is land in the courtyard was garden. From each room flow 4 streams that go to the center: the 4 rivers of paradise. The columns are joined with openwork cloths that let the light through. Very thin cylindrical spindles, rings on the top, cubic capitals on which inscriptions run. Gray lead plates are shock absorbers for earthquakes. The two temples that advance to the two opposite sides of the courtyard are like a souvenir of the Bedouin tent. They are square, decorated with wooden domes that rely on moccasins scallops. The eave is the work of the 19th century. The entire gallery is covered with coffered ceilings.

Fountain of the Lions

The latest studies done say that the lions come from the house of the Jewish vizier Yusuf Ibn Nagrela (1066). It is not known if it was built before his death, he was already accused at the time of wanting to make a palace larger than that of the king himself. An almost exact description of this source is preserved by the poet Ibn Gabirol (S.XI). They represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Two of them have a triangle on the forehead indicating the two chosen tribes: Judah and Levi. They are from the 11th century. The cup has written on its perimeter verses of the minister and poet Ibn Zamrak in which the source itself is beautifully described: "(...) To such a diaphanous bowl, carved pearl, / by the rimmed aljfar beans, / and goes between margaritas the argento, / fluid and also made white and pure./ So similar is the hard and the flowing / that it is difficult to know which of them flows (...) "Currently, the source is in the process of restoration what it has done inevitable the transfer of lions.