The Comares Room

Habibi, let us speak quietly, as a sign of respect. We are now in the very heart of the Alhambra. On your way in, did you notice the small room on the right? It was reserved for the sultan to pray in. The governmental duties were many, and moments of divine reflection and invocation had to take place in private. Today, the prayer room stands empty and all its old furnishings have been removed.

The throne room… Yes, I remember having been in here. Once, the sultan honoured my family by granting an audience to my father. Can you see the ceiling, shaped like an upside-down pyramid? It looks like the inside of a desert haima, or tent. More than eight thousand pieces make up this absolute jewel, which represents the seven heavens. And right below it, at our feet in the centre of the square, there are tiles containing the name of Allah - something which was forbidden by Islam! Yes, back in my day, habibi, we lived with one foot in the East, and the other in the West. That is why the name of Allah was inscribed on the most beautiful tiles ever seen: to preside over the most exquisite throne room ever seen - although it was strictly forbidden to step on them!

In the 16th century, the sacred tiles were replaced by the ones you see now, which are also incredibly valuable. The rule of not stepping on them is still respected today.

Boabdil was in here just a moment ago. The city of Granada was surrendered to the Catholic King and Queen just a few minutes ago, here in this room. We should not hurry in such a beautiful place - but perhaps, if we’re lucky, you will catch a glimpse of him before you go. In the Courtyard of the Lions, perhaps...

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

Source: Own work
Author: Julián Hernández Martínez (2013)