The Gravestones from the royal cemetery of the Alhambra
D Clemente Franco
The Rauda, the royal cemetery of the Nasrid Sultans is situated between the Palace of the Lions, to the North, and the Mosque of the Alhambra to the South. There were two cemeteries on the hill of the Alhambra: one situated to the south of the fortress, outside the walled area, in which Muhammad I al-Ahmar and two of his grandsons were buried, and the Rauda in which the other Nasrid Sultans and their families were laid to rest. After the last Sultan Boabdil surrendered the city of Granada to the Christian King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, he moved his ancestors’ remains to his country residence in Mondujar, where he buried them in the grounds of the Mosque. With all the dead apparently removed from the Rauda, four gravestones were uncovered in 1574 during building work on the Palace of Charles V, although the graves themselves were later lost under the new buildings. At the end of the 19th Century, Mariano Contreras, the architect-conservator of the Alhambra located the remains of the old cemetery, which was excavated by Torres Balbás in 1926.
Of the four gravestones discovered in 1574, three are conserved today in the Museum of the Alhambra, those pertaining to the Sultans Muhammad II and Yusuf III, and a third belonging to Prince Yusuf, the brother of the Sultan Muley Hacen, which was discovered in the 18th Century hidden under the Great Altar of the Church of Our Lady of Azogue, in Betanzos (La Coruña).
As regards the funeral rites, Islam is not only a religion, it is also a complete social system regulating all the events in the life of a human being, from birth to death. The ritual that Islam and its sacred book, the Koran, instruct the faithful to observe during the process of death and burial of Muslims can be divided into five phases, namely:
• Accompanying the dying person in his last moments
• Ritual washing of the corpse
• Shrouding of the dead
• Funeral prayers
After a brief explanation of each of these phases, we will end with a tour of some of the cemeteries of Andalusí Granada, describing their situation and characteristics.
Time: todos los domingos a las 12 h
Place: Museo de la Alhambra, Palacio Carlos V
Days :6, 13