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"Hall of Two Sisters - what an exquisite ceiling!" Alhambra - Nasrid Palaces Tip by dlytle

Alhambra - Nasrid Palaces, Granada: 146 reviews and 281 photos

  Mocarabe ceiling depicting Stalactites
by dlytle

Near to the Patio of Lindaraja are the basements of the Hall of the Two Sisters. This name refers to the massive twin slabs of marble that lie on either side of the central fountain - compared often to two sisters in an Arabic poem. This hall was in the center of a series of chambers where the sultana and her family lived.

This hall was the reception room for the throne room, which lies just beyond it in an exquisitely decorated alcove. Nowhere else in the Alhambra is there such a display of mocarabes, the encrustations with which the Moors coated archways and ceilings. These were pre-molded in plaster and fitted ingeniously together to create the effect of stalactites in a grotto. Its lighting was carefully considered and it receives the light from lateral little windows. The dome is therefore a beautiful and exquisitely rich expression of Islamic art.

The Throne Room, similar to the one in the Tower of Comares, was set in a niche-like balcony, so that the light from behind would surround the Sultan in an aura. But romantic legend once more takes precedence: this enchanting place is known to all as the Mirador de Lindaraja - "lookout place of the queen" - for the wife of Sultan Muley Hacen who is said to have lived here. The balcony's windows overlooked the Albaicin on the other side of the valley, until the Christians built the rooms intended to accommodate Carlos Quinto on his visits to Granada, thus cutting off the splendid view forever.

The Hall of Two Sisters form a series of rooms surrounding the Hall of the Secrets. This hall is so called because if two people stand in opposite corners of the room and one of them speaks quietly towards the corner, the person in the opposite side will hear the words perfectly well. This is only possible thanks to the acoustics provided by the special vault.

Address: Calle Real s/n
Directions: advanced booking is advised to prevent crowdings
Phone: + 34 958 227 525

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 22, 2003
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