Restoration of the monumental area of the Aljafería Palace
Dating of the building: 11th century.
Applicant: General Directorate of Cultural Heritage of the Aragon Regional Government.
Reason for the award :
For the accurate and complex reconstruction work and the thoughtful and careful attention given to the different construction periods present in the building.
In 2001, the Aljafería Palace was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, considered one of the leading examples of Aragonese Mudejar art.
The Aljafería Palace was built by King Abu Yafar shortly after the disintegration of the Caliphate of Córdoba. At the time, it was one of the best examples of Muslim palatial architecture in the West. From the Christian conquest of the city, the palace underwent all kinds of transformations and uses, becoming a royal residence during the Middle Ages, headquarters and the prison of the Inquisition, palace of the Catholic Monarchs, and military barracks. The passage of time considerably disfigured its artistic wealth. The first restoration began in 1947 with the then General Commissioner of the Historical-Artistic Heritage, Francisco Íñiguez, in charge of the works. After the setting up of a Board of Trustees the army, the owner at that time, transferred to them the monumental part of the building. In 1983 the Aragon Regional Parliament decided to move its headquarters to the old Taifa Palace.
In 1994, after carrying out the expansion of its facilities and the cession by the City Council of the entire Palace, the restoration of the historic area was undertaken. The multicultural essence of the Aljafería has thus been recovered, exposing the best Islamic architecture, visible in the characteristic multi-lobed and mixtilinear arches of the Santa Isabel Courtyard, with the Mudejar style of the Palace of Peter IV and the Renaissance style of the Palace of the Catholic Monarchs.