The Partal

A large central pond faces the arched portico behind which stands the Tower of the Ladies

For your interest

  • Gates

    There are four main gates in the wall, two on the north side, -the Gate of Arms and the Gate of the Arrabal, and two on the south side,the Gate of Justice and the Gate of the Seven Floors.

  • The Alcazaba

    It was the residential area of the royal guard in charge of the security of the palatial city

  • Tower of the Candle

    la Torre de la Vela, nombrada en época nazarí torre Mayor y durante el siglo XVI puerta del Sol ya que se refleja en la fachada de mediodía actuando como un reloj de sol para la ciudad.

  • Palace of Charles V

    The decision to build the Palace in the Alhambra symbolized the triumph of Christianity over Islam.

  • Museum of the Alhambra

    The tour of the Alhambra also includes a visit to the museum, with its collection of Nasrid Art, which was found in archaeological excavations or restoration works in the Monument.

  • St. Mary Church

    With Latin-cross floor design and side chapels, outstanding is its Baroque altarpiece framed by large Solomon-style columns from the 17th century

  • Museum in Honour of Ángel Barrios

    Drawings, paintings, musical scores and letters of the Grenadian composer, Ángel Barrios, form this collection

  • The Court of Machuca

    Two round fountains with water flowing into a pool in the centre of the court are its main feature.

  • The Mexuar- Oratory

    Counsel of Ministers meetings and worship took place in these rooms.

  • The Golden Room

    The beautiful woodwork ceiling gives its name to this room, whose original decoration is attributed to Muhammad V.

  • The Façade of Comares

    The Sultan received his vassals at the foot of the Façade of Comares, which separated the administrative and familiar sectors inside the Palace.

  • The Court of the Myrtles

    The Main Canal acts as a mirror that reflects the building structures and breaks the structural horizontal lines of the court.

  • The Room of the Ship

    There are two possible origins of its name: its cylindrical vault or the Arab term “al-baraka”, which is repeatedly inscribed on its walls.

  • The Chamber of the Ambassadors

    This Throne Room is the largest room of the building, flanked by nine small rooms, one of which was reserved for the Sultan

  • The Bath of Comares

    The baths being essential Moorish urban elements, it is easy to understand why each palace in the Alhambra has its own baths.

  • The Hall of the Muqarnas

    One of the rooms in the Palace of the Lions was used as a hall or vestibule owing to its proximity to the main entrance of the Palace

  • The Court of the Lions – Fountain – Water Jet

    The Court of the Lions – Fountain – Water Jet . Alhambra of Granada

  • The Hall of the Abencerrages

    A spectacular vault decorated with eight-point star-shaped stalactites that open out on eight elephant-like trunks is the most remarkable ornamental element of the hall.

  • The Hall of the Kings. Paintings

    Five alcoves that flank a large hall were used for receptions and celebrations. Their domed ceilings are its most remarkable feature.

  • The Ajimeces Gallery

    It got its name from the ajimeces, wooden balconies with latticework that are found in this room.

  • The Hall of the Two Sisters

    The vault, which has a central star motif made up of stalactites, is the masterpiece of the second main chamber of the Palace of the Lions.

  • The Court of the Vestibule or Observation Point of Daraxa

    The delicate tile decoration and the well-proportioned Nasrid architectural style make this one of most beautiful of the Alhambra Palaces

  • King Charles V’s Chambers

    His visit to the Alhambra impressed him so much that he decided to build an “imperial suite” near the Moorish palaces.

  • The Queen’s Robing Room

    An open gallery overlooking the Tower of Abu-I-Hayyay that breaks with the conventional wall patterns.

  • The Court of the Grated Window

    A balcony occupies the upper part of the south loft serving as a corridor between the rooms and protecting them

  • The Court of the Lindaraja

    Though structurally similar to the Court of the Grated Window, it is more cloister-like. It bears the name of its balcony.

  • The Rauda

    Rawda means cemetery. It was here, beside the Palace of the Lions, where the royal family interred its deceased family members

  • The Palace of Yusuf III

    Outstanding is the long pool in the central courtyard with a lush garden, on the sides of which are the ruins of some rooms.

  • The Promenade of the Towers

    Several towers can be found along the route from the Partal Gardens to the Generalife and the Upper Alhambra.

  • Urban Distribution

    Andalusian and Islamic, the Alhambra was conceived as a city built for the royal court.

Location

After walking up a narrow landscaped path with a view of Sacromonte, on our left appear the north wall of the Alhambra and the remains of walls and some pavement that mark the location of what is currently called the Court of the Fig Tree.

A small pergola leads to a wide esplanade corresponding to the lower terrace of the Partal. To the left is the architectural structure for which the location is named: the Partal Palace portico.

As is customary in these buildings, it is situated, like the Palace of Comares, on the premises wall. The portico, with its five arches, overlooks a large pool in the centre of the garden. Behind the portico is the main room, located inside the tower known as Las Damas.

The wall decoration typically consists of a tile socle  and wide stretches of plasterwork that originally were polychromatic friezes with wooden frameworks. Its decorative style suggests that it was built during the reign of sultan Muhammad III (1302-1309), making it the oldest—if only partially standing—palace in the Alhambra.

Adjacent to the Tower of the Ladies and above the portico, is a lovely small balcony built in Nasrid style, just like the balconies of other palaces, such as the Comares and the Generalife, often referred to in this day and age as observatories for the superb views they provide.

One of the reasons why the Palace of the Partal stands out from its neighbouring Comares and the Lions, which have maintained their overall structure since the days of the Nasrid, is that the Partal was only included in the Alhambra a little more than a century ago.

On 12 March 1891, its owner, Arthur Von Gwinner, handed ownership over to the State. At that time the building was little more than a simple house with a few plants. Its interior walls were covered over so that much of the structure and its original decoration were hidden from view.  

Another detail of note is the fact that the wooden ceiling inside the Tower of the Ladies was dismantled by its last owner, turning up early last century in Berlin. It is currently one of the most prominent objects to be found in the Museum für Islamische Kunst del Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz..

Finally, the two large marble lions that stood in the front of the gallery, and which dated back to the 14th Century, were originally from Maristán, in Albaycin.

In 1995 the lions were moved to the Museum of the Alhambra in order to be restored and preserved. In the mid-nineteenth century, they had been in the Partal, where their preservation, chronology, function, and context were ignored.

 

The Partal Gardens

This lovely section of the Monumental Complex of the Alhambra is the result of a logically pursued process, carried out by a well-managed system of landscaping and architectural planning, which was put into effect in the 1930s and has been a determinant in the increase in tourism, establishing current perspectives of interpretation.

Since the mid-nineteen hundreds various acquisitions and expropriations of small properties from private owners in the area have facilitated a series of archaeological explorations.

Walls, pavements and other architectural elements were recovered, particularly in the first three decades of the twentieth century. In addition, landscaping was put into effect, so that archaeological recoveries could be properly integrated into the surrounding flora and countryside, thus providing a noteworthy example that has bolstered the notoriety of the Alhambra around the world.

The original mechanism pertains to a terracing process, in which terrain levels, ascending from the wall to the fortress, and elevated above the left bank of the Darro river basin, in the direction of the upper Alhambra, were colonized and urbanized, on what was  probably the site of the original Nasrid palace settlement.