The Myrtle Courtyard

Ah, what a tranquil place…The Comares Palace is a true monarch´s residence. It is sumptuous in size, but has austere, sober facades. This courtyard, known as the Myrtle Courtyard, lies at its centre. It takes its name from the myrtle hedges that surround it. Life is represented symbolically, here under the open sky, on the immobile surface of the water and among the cool vegetation. Oh, to be a Sultan, habibi…! When I think where we used to have to sleep… But I can´t complain. We didn´t live all that badly in the Medina.

The Comares Palace was built at the wish of Sultan Yusuf I, in the mid- 14th century. It was a period of glorious trade here in Granada. We traded with the north, and the south, and – in order to keep the peace - we paid vassalage to the Christian monarchs every year, with gold brought from the Sudan.

The palace in which we are standing was, without a doubt, the most refined in the whole of Europe. But under Yussuf I, it began its decline. In 1340, the Christians won the Battle of El Salado. Granada lost Algeciras and, with it, the gateway to the Straits of Gibraltar. It was the beginning of the end for the Nazrids.

Behind one of the side doors lies a luxurious Hammam: these unique Arab baths are still almost intact. But it is so fragile that it is not open to visitors. Perhaps you can see the private quarters of the Sultan’s family, which lead off from one side of the courtyard.

What do you mean where are they? Go and have look for them! Go on, walk around and you will come to them. Your friend Hamed will go and look for the sultan Boabdil, so you can see him, if only from afar. With all the fuss of the court moving out, I don’t know if he is still here in the Alhambra…

When you have finished walking around, I will meet you under the arches, on the same side of the courtyard as we came in. The throne room can be reached through the doorway in the middle.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Carlos Madrid (2012)

Picture: Myrtle Courtyard
Source: Wikipedia
Author: Ra-smit (2007)
Licence: GNU Free Documentation License

Picture: Myrtle Courtyard
Source: Wikipedia
Author: Tinette on (2006)
Licence: GNU Free Documentation Licens