Restoration of the oratory of the Partal Palace and the House of Astasio de Bracamonte in The Alhambra

Granada, Granada, Andalucía.
Grand Prix, Medal/Award in the category Conservation in the year 2019.

Dating of the building: 14th century.

Applicant: Federico Wulff.

Reason for the award :

A significant part of European intercultural history is represented in this heritage complex. Its restoration, an excellent example of public-private collaboration based on deep interdisciplinary scientific research, has revealed unprecedented elements of the construction and technological techniques of Nazarí carpentry; the careful work also shows the richness and diversity of the materials used, while respecting previous interventions on the building.

The respectful and thorough intervention undertaken, opening up new opportunities to understand traditional Hispano-Muslim building techniques.

The oratory of the Partal is a Palatine mosque within the Alhambra complex, built during the reign of Sultan Yusuf I (1333-1354). Along with the Arab Houses and the house of Astasio de Bracamonte, it forms a complex of buildings linked to the day-to-day life of the Palatine Partal.

The restoration work has focused on the wooden structures, the coffered ceilings, and the plasterwork. The wooden elements still conserved much of their original decoration from the 14th century, the epigraphic and vegetal motifs. This type of structure presented serious problems of dampness, deformation, and loss of material. The tiles used on floors and roofs were also restored. In the extreme southeast, there is a small mihrab covered with a dome of muqarnas. The project has revealed unpublished 14th-century epigraphic inscriptions, and decorative elements, and technical carpentry solutions not known in the Alhambra before this restoration. Thus, this intervention represents a significant advance in the knowledge of the construction techniques of the carpenters and the Spanish-Muslim master masons of the 14th century.

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