They include the required conservation strategies adapted to the cultural context of the Alhambra.
Something quite unusual in the Alhambra: the use of red plaster in decorative plasterwork.
La Sala de las Dos Hermanas es la estancia principal del Palacio de los Leones.
The Puerta de la Justicia or Gate of Justice is undoubtedly the grandest of the four outer gates of the walled area of the Alhambra. Also known as the “Gate of the Esplanade”, its majestic presence has made it one of the symbols of the Alhambra.
During their work on this gate the Alhambra’s restoration team uncovered various original Nasrid decorations created with unique craft techniques. The Conservation and Protection Department began work last October on this emblematic space built by Sultan Yusuf I in 1348, the date that appears in an inscription in Arabic on the foundation stone situated in the outer façade, one of the few that have been found in the Alhambra.
The restoration work on the gate has focused particularly on the outer façade, in which restorers have cleaned the columns, the arch, the canvas of stone, the founding inscription in Arabic, the panel of sebka (decorative rhomboid patterns), the niche, the copy of the Gothic sculpture, the arches and walls with mural paintings and the wooden door with a metal lining. Work on the inner facade has concentrated on the stone features and imitation-brick murals.
The restoration work has revealed materials and colours that had lain hidden and unique delicate pieces worked with meticulous care, excellent examples of the exquisite highly refined craft techniques used by the Nasrids in epigraphy, plant motifs, etc. All this information gives us a clearer picture of the Alhambra in the 14th and 15th centuries.
After removing the layer of dirt that covered the ashlars, other decorations in different colours have appeared which make the gate even more beautiful. The Arabic inscription in inlay carved out of white Macael marble with incrusted slate, which is currently being studied, shows that the original craftsmen also had great skill when it came to working with slate. This is the only example of this technique so far documented in the Alhambra.
The Restoration Department of the Council of the Alhambra and Generalife was responsible for the technical management of this project, which cost 47,133.20€ and involved a multi-disciplinary team of restorers specializing in wood, plasterwork and tiles, together with professionals from the works and maintenance department, and the masonry, carpentry, plumbing and electricity workshops. Researchers from the University of Granada also took part in the research and analysis of the materials.
The Puerta de la Justicia has great symbolic value in the Alhambra. The sculpted hand which appears in the keystone of the great outer arch and the key which appears above the inner entrance arch are well-known Islamic symbols, which contrast with the Gothic image of the Madonna and Child by the sculptor Roberto Alemán, installed by order of the conquering Christian King and Queen on the large stone panel with the Arabic inscription relating to the foundation of the gate, which appears above the key.
The sculpture of the Madonna which today occupies this space is a copy of the original which is on display at the Granada Fine Arts Museum. The main aim of the restoration work was to thoroughly clean this multi-coloured work of art, which was covered in a thick layer of dirt.