The Lion Courtyard in the Alhambra, the greatest of the region's Nasrid period monuments, will open to the public once again tomorrow with a new flooring of white Macael marble that will allow visitors to approach the central fountain, which has been inaccessible to tourists since the 1990s.
Archaeological research carried out here has revealed that originally there was no garden in this courtyard, but paving, although it was not possible to ascertain exactly what kind. A study of the historical documentation about the matter --both that owned by the trust and available in other national archives-- has shown that at some point the courtyard had a flooring, probably of marble slabs, although no remains of this flooring have been recovered because of the work carried out at the beginning of the 20th century to empty the four quadrants surrounding the fountain.
This is the first work carried out on this courtyard using a scientific methodology, and it has also discovered the existence of constructions pre-dating the palace as we see it today, which was built under Mohammed V. These remains include a water channel that acted as one of the main arteries of the royal irrigation system, which was the main water supply to the complex. They formed part of a palace attributed to Ismail I, in whose garden, or riyad, the building that remains today was built in the 14th century.
Watch the reopening tomorrow at 11am (UTC+01:00) here
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