The Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (PAG) Conservation Service began paving work in the Court of the Lions, placing the first white marble slab from the Macael quarry in Almeria. A total of 250 slabs are to be laid, covering an area of almost 400 square metres. The slabs cover a range of sizes and weights, from 50 kilos to almost 400 kilos, and were designed specially for the courtyard.
Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife general director María del Mar Villafranca oversaw the laying of the first slab, commencing paving works that are scheduled to take two months. The first slab, weighing 156 kilos, was laid in quadrant 1 just after noon. Villafranca was accompanied by the architect in charge of the restoration of the water system in the Court of the Lions, Pedro Salmerón, who coordinated the works along with architect Francisco Lamolda, head of the PAG Conservation Service.
The contract to pave the court was awarded to Construcciones Otero, and the marble comes from the Cosentino quarries in Macael.
The makeover aims to restore the Court of the Lions to its original image, as conceived by Sultan Muhammad V in the 14th century and described by early travellers, such as Hieronymous Münzer, as being paved in white marble.
An exhaustive study of historical documents from several national archives has revealed that the floor was paved in white marble in the late 15th century. Accordingly, the makeover will restore the courtyard to its original image, in addition to better preserving the hydraulic system.