Medina & Gate of Wine

by | Jul 7, 2023 | Alhambra Palace, Granada, Medina

Medina & Gate of Wine

To some extent the function of this Gate today is similar to what it had been during the Nasrid period. It is the main entrance gate to the Medina of the Alhambra and serves to enclose the residential and artisan district within the walled fortress. Because it was an inner gate, it provided direct access to the fortress, as opposed to the outer gates, which required more protection and were built as L-shaped passageways. Inside, however, there was room enough for benches for the guards that controlled all access to the fortress.

Architecturally one of the oldest structures in the Nasrid Alhambra , it was built during the time of the Sultan Muhammad III (1302-1309), although the decoration of both façades pertains to different periods

The door on the east side, carved in sand stone, probably belongs to the 13th century or the beginning of the 14th century, although the tombstone over the door lintel refers to Sultan Muhammad V, who ruled the fortress in the second half of the 14th century. This east façade was the outer side of the gate and, therefore, the traditional Islamic symbol of the key was engraved above the arch key.

The inner side, i.e. the west façade, even when it follows a similar structural pattern, was decorated during the second mandate of Sultan Muhammad V, more specifically after 1367, the date of the military campaigns of Jaen, Baeza and Ubeda. Remarkable are the beautifully decorated spandrels hanging from the arch, made up of dry-rope manufactured tiles, and the composition of the stucco walls that frame the upper floor’s window, and the rest of well-preserved polychromatic painting on the right side of the arch.

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