Hall Of The Mexuar

Aha… I recognize this hall. The Mexuar. The throne room of Sultan Muhammad V was once located here. Do you remember I told you that he is mentioned on the frieze above the Wine Gateway? His was perhaps the most glorious period of the Nazrid dynasty.

Originally, you entered this hall from the Machuca courtyard, to the left of where we entered. I see it has changed a great deal. In the Christian period, this hall was turned into a chapel, which is why it has that wooden balustrade, where the choir sings at mass. It even still has the 16th- century heraldic coats of arms. And on the wall where we came in, there are still some ceramic tiles showing the two imperial columns. That means that the altar stood there.

The Mexuar was built around 1320, in the time of Sultan Ismail the First. At that time, the hall was covered by an impressive polychrome glass roof, supported on marble columns. Ah, look around, habibi, they are there! The columns are still there, and their colourful capitals. The glass was removed in the 16th century, in order to enlarge the building. The floor above was turned into the residence of the Governors of the Alhambra.

The tiling on the walls still feature the geometric motifs that were typical of Islamic art. Just above the tiles is a repeated inscription from the Morisco period, written in Arab lettering. It reads: al-milk li-l-lah, al qudra li-l-lah, al-´iza li-l-lah. Which means “The kingdom of god, the greatness of God, the glory of God”.

If Sultan Muhammad V were to rise from his tomb and see his throne room standing empty.. He would be as surprised as the Christian monarchs would be if they saw that their chapel had also disappeared.

Shall we move on, habibi? I can see a little door at the end there…

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

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