Archaeological area the Palace of Abencerrages

Strolling through the medina artisan industry quarter, visitors can see the remains of houses and shops with kilns.

For your interest

This is located in the higher area of the Alhambra, which is an important place and it was situated near the urban hub of the medina, which tells us of the relevance of the residents. This archaeological area is known as the Palace of Abencerrages, the Spanish name given to the Banu Sarray, a noble family of the Nasrid kingdom.

In 1501 the building was handed over by the Catholic Monarchs to Juan Chacon, Captain General of Murcia, and principal accountant of the Royal Council, therefore this was then given the name of Palace of Accountancy. The first interventions in this complex date back to the end of the 19th century, when it was already in a state of ruin, and remains were found of the architectural structure and its urban layout. Studies and excavations began in the 1930s which allowed us to understand the importance of this place.    

In the main area a pool was set out parallel to the wall in a central courtyard, presided over by a pavilion of three chambers that preceded the principal tripartite hall located inside the tower. These were architectural solutions that were later carried out in the hall of the Abencerrages and in the Palace of the Lions.

A small dwelling is attached to the east of the main area, following the traditional architectural plan of Muslim houses, with a central courtyard and small pond, and this was excavated at the end of the 20th century.

On the eastern side there is a double bath of various periods, one more primitive and another from the mandate of Yusuf I (1325-1354). The first has a smaller size with regard to the other, which is larger and follows the design of the Comares Baths: a rest room crowned by a lantern and an upper floor with a small cistern that is separated from the chamber by an anti-humidity room. The cold chamber, with side rooms which have columns set into the walls, is situated after crossing a passage where a latrine was set up.  The temperate chamber also had side rooms with a small basin for washing feet. The hot chamber preserves the hypocaust pillars and the boiler area, and similar to the temperate and cold chambers had side rooms.  

A large number of decorative elements, glazed tiles and wall tiling have been preserved, which give us an idea of the rich decoration.