The Stunning Nazaries Palace in Alhambra!
So many design events have come and gone by so quickly that I found myself today thinking back to summer and its warm & sunny days. Thus I remembered I owed you the last part of my photo journal trip to Alhambra. I was so excited to visit this amazing, stunning architectural place called the Nazaries Palace. I took tons of photos so that I can share my experience with you, but because there were so many of them, I had to break the photo journal into parts. And so, this particular palace post got postponed time and time again. Well, no more! It's here and it's gonna kick some serious butt (especially if you are into this type of architecture).
So here it is detail lovers, the final part of our Alhambra trilogy! You can click on the pictures to access the map (like we did in the previous photo journal), so you'll know where each picture was taken from.
Come walk with me and let's see together the most beautiful building in Alhambra - the NAZARIES PALACE!!
I was surprised to learn that this palace (the main residence of the Kings of Granada) is actually composed of three smaller palaces that were built in different periods: the Mexuar Palace: built during the reign of Ismail I (1314-1325) and Muhammad V (1362-1391); the Comares Palace: built during the reign of Yusuf I (1333-1354) and Muhammad V (1362-1391); the Palace of the Lions: built during the reign of Muhammad V (1362-1391).
Until Ismail I (the fifth king of the Nasrid dynasty), the construction process of this palace was secret, as there were no official documents to admit the existence of this building. Odd, right?
The Mexuar Palace was the semi public area of the castle, where the administration of justice and state affairs would take place. It only seems fit that tourists would enter through this part of the palace.
We took our first step inside this space through a small inner courtyard, followed up by a small great hall, where all the people used to gather back in the day. Was amazed by the level of detail on each architectural element: from the floor up to the wooden ceiling above our heads. You can read more about this part of the palace here.
The Comares Palace (also known as the Comares Tower/Torre de Comares) was the official residence of the king.
With its height of 45 metres, this building used to be the highest construction in Alhambra at that time. Filled with windows and balconies, this particular part of the palace was clearly influenced by the Arabic architectural style, while still keeping a Spanish Medieval note to the overall look. The level of decoration is, again, beyond anything I have seen so far. I keep wondering how long it took for the construction workers and the decoration masters to actually sculpture all the ceilings in this part of the palace. Obviously years, but...imagine the dedication, patience and attention to detail. You can find out more about the Comares Palace here.
In this beautiful white inner courtyard, at the safe embrace of the shadows and on both sides of the pond, there were these little stools for people to sit on (in case they felt tired). I loved the composition so much that I waited a good couple of minutes to actually be able to capture this picture without anybody passing by or sitting on them.
I don't know what was the main function of the tower, but personally, I got an "astronomy room" type of vibe. All the doors and windows were closed, but I can only imagine what an amazing view it must have been from this point, at the time.
The Palace of the Lions was for me, by far the most impressive part of the palace. This particular area was reserved for the private chambers of the royal family. This was also where the Harem was located.
This part of the palace is basically an inner courtyard surrounded by galleries with columns on all of its fourth sides. The ceiling that is within these side chambers is absolutely stunning. You can't help but wonder how did they achieve this sculptural mastery level. Just by looking at it, you can sense what an overwhelming task it should have been at that time.
On the other hand, the architect in me can't help but feel a bit sad that the original colours have been swept away by the fast pace of time. What a wonder to witness it must have been back in the day, in its full glory. If you want to know more about this part of the palace, you can find out here.
After seeing all of these heavy but stunning decorations, the natural flow of the palace leads us to our final destination - a small inner courtyard, full of flowers and orange trees, completed with a wonderful stone fountain.
The viewpoints (that are throughout the palace) are very well picked. Wherever you turn and look through an open window, you see an amazing view (fit for kings indeed). So as you step where kings once walked, you can't help but feel like you just got access to a privileged place. Personally, I never had this feeling before. Then again, I don't think I've walked on the steps of a thirteen-century dynasty before.
So there you have it peeps! We are officially done. You have seen the Alhambra Trilogy! What an amazing experience it was: full of architectural and decoration wonders, feelings and stunning views. Looking back on these posts for this wonderful place, I recommend visiting this place with all my heart. It is a total architectural wonder, plus you get to see the beautiful Granada as well. I know I will go back there someday!
Have you been to Alhambra? Have you seen this stunning Nazaries Palace? Which part was your favourite? Have you discovered any secret detail while being there? Let me know in a comment below of drop me a line on my Facebook page (click here to get there)! Do let me know, I would love to learn something new about this place.
All images that are credited as '©Detail Movement', are done by Raluca Vaduva for Detail Movement. All rights reserved. All pictures that are not my own, I credit them to the best of my knowledge & research, to their online sources. I do not claim ownership over them in any way.