Flavours of Spain
The Nasrid Palaces - The Mexuar
Mexuar was the first palace to be built by Ismail I at the
start of the C14th. This became the semi public part of the
palaces administering justice and controlling state affairs.
It was partially destroyed by Yusuf II when he built the
Comares Palace behind it in the mid C14th. This became the
official residence of the ruler. The Palace of the Lions was
added to this at the end of the C14th by Muhammad V and was
the private area where the harem was and included the Royal
The Mexuar is reached down a short passageway which leads into the Hall of the Mexuar. This was the place the Sura or Council of Ministers met and where justice was meted out. It is a splendid space with four tall wooden columns, colourful tiling round the bottom of the walls and elaborate plasterwork. The lovely wood ceiling was inserted by by the Christian Monarchs, replacing a lantern ceiling and glass dome.
At the far end is a beautiful oratory overlooking the gardens.
This leads into the Court of the Mexuar with the Golden Room set behind a three arched portico of elaborately carved pillars. Its name comes from the wood roof which was decorated with gold leaf during the time of the Catholic Monarchs. Again there is more decorative plasterwork on the walls.
There is a small fountain in the courtyard which is overlooked by the walls of the Comares Palace.
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