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lunes, 22 de febrero de 2016

Dar al Horra Palace - Islamic things you must visit in Granada

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It was built in the 15th century on the remains of the destroyed palace of the Ziri kings. It very interesting as it is the only one, out of several which were in the Albayzin, which has been preserved. The name “Dar-al-horra” (House of the Honest Lady) seems to honour one of its inhabitants: Aisha, the mother of King Boabdil, the last of the Muslim monarchs in Spain.

After the conquer of Granada in 1492 by the Catholic Monarchs, the Muslims ceded the Palace an the surrounding houses to the Kings’ secretary, Hernando de Zafra. Afterwards, Queen Isabella decided to found ther the Santa Isabel la Real Convent. The building was owned by the religious order until the beginnings of the 20th century when it was purchased by the government. Today it has been catallogued as Heritage of Cultural Interest.

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Its structure and decoration is the characteristic of the Nasrid art. It has two floors in two of its sides and a tower in its North side. We can admire a central courtyard or patio, two “porticos” in the lower sides and a little pool with fountain by the South portico.

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The North side is the most interesting in the building; it has two floors and a tower. On the ground floor, the portico is formed by three horseshoe’s archs on columns and it is covered by a magnificent Arab-style ceiling made of simple wood and decorated with geometrical shapes. 

In the centre a door with horseshoe arch gives access to a rectangular hall with side rooms and a watchpoint in the centre from where one can see part of the district. The different rooms are divided with archs and covered by Arab-style ceilings. In some walls there still are some Arabic inscriptions.