The Heritage Board for Alhambra & Generalife has opened another normally inaccessible area of the palace during December: The Habitaciones del Emperador.
Visitors will be able to tour these well preserved rooms on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 08.30h to 18.00h for no extra cost; i.e., they are included in the Entrada Alhambra General. Normally The Emperor’s Chambers are closed off to the general public in order to preserve them.
These chambers are accessed through an open doorway (which used to be a window), leading to the left to the Sala de Dos Hermanas, which belongs to the time of Emperador Carlos V, although some historians date them further back in time to the time of the Reyes Católicos.
The rooms are connected by a corridor off a central patio, whereas Islamic layouts were for individual rooms directly accessing a central patio. However the original designers were able to blend one style into the other without a stark contrast being visible.
The first room, known as the The Emperor’s Office, conserves a fireplace and a coffered ceiling, built in 1532 by Pedro Machuca, and then an ante-chamber used to gain access to the royal chambers.
Between 1535 and 1537, Julio Aquiles and Alejandro Mayner, (who were followers of Rafael Sanzio & Giovanni de Udine), were entrusted with painting the walls in these rooms.
The Emperor’s Chambers are also known as the Irving Washington’s ones – on the door there’s a marble plaque put there in 1914 in homage to this famous American, author Washington Irving, author of The Tales of Alhambra, who had stayed in the rooms known as Salas de las Frutas in the mid 1800s.
(News: Alhambra Palace, Metropolitan Granada, Andalucia)