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The Aljafería Palace

Aljaferia Palace, Site Map

The Aljafería Palace (Arabic:قصر الجعفرية Qasr Aljafariya, Spanish: Palacio de la Aljafería) is a fortified medieval Islamic palace built during the second half of the 11th century in the Moorish taifa of Zaragoza of Al-Andalus, present day Zaragoza, Spain. It was the residence of the Banu Hud dynasty during the era of Abu Jaffar Al-Muqtadir after abolishing Banu Tujibi of Kindah dynasty. The palace reflects the splendor attained by the kingdom of the taifa of Zaragoza at the height of its grandeur. The palace currently contains the Cortes (regional parliament) of the autonomous community of Aragon. The structure holds unique importance in that it is the only conserved testimony of a large building of Spanish Islamic architecture of the era of the Taifas (independent kingdoms).

The palace’s plan is small, approximately 70 x 70 meters, and it was surrounded by a continuous wall punctuated by round towers, only three of which survive. Two of these towers flank the entrance, creating a highly fortified exterior in contrast to the luxurious ornament of the small courtyard, so-called throne hall, and mosque that remain from the eleventh century . These spaces are distinguished by architectural motifs and an ornamental programme that evoke caliph al Cordoba. However, the interlacing arches and carved stucco ornament of the Aljaferia achieve a level of complexity and fantasy that pushed an established repertoire of forms into new realms. These diminutive, highly decorated spaces have been interpreted as settings intended to evoke paradise for majalis – gatherings of the ruler and a highly exclusive group of companions – at which wine drinking and poetic recitation took place.

Text Source: Wikipedia and Archnet

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