un recorrido por el arte mudéjar aragonés
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THE ALJAFERÍA (ZARAGOZA)

Mudéjar Palace – Pedro IV’s Salon


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We have already commented that during the work realized between 1354 and 1358 on dependencies of the palace, a second room on the upper floor was remodeled, located over the Taifa Salón Dorado, and that at a lower floor level they built other rooms in a U-shaped configuration that functioned as balconies towards Saint Isabel’s Patio. The latter were in large part demolished to make way for the work of the Palace of the Catholic Kings. Preserved are two windows, a doorway and the remains of another one in one of the Salas de los Pasos Perdidos.

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The doorway and one of the surviving windows correspond to the room called Pedro IV’s Salon, or the “Sala del tercer taujel” [“Room of the third molding”], for having installed there the decorative wooden strip from the Sala de los Pasos Perdidos III, or Alcove of Saint Isabel, closed off by Iñiguez when he restored the cupola of the Islamic Oratory over which it was found. The present-day Salon is smaller than originally, since in order to reinstall the molding, new partition walls had to be built up.

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The oddness of this room is found in the difference of about 135 cm. between the height of its floor and the present one, which coincides with the Palace of the Catholic Kings. This difference is obvious in the Mudéjar doorway situated on the stairway landing that gives access to the gallery. The doorway, with mixtilinear arches, is decorated with crossing bands, of a type frequent in the Aljafería, the principal decorative motif being two coats of arms in the spandrels with the Bars of Aragon. The simplicity of the doorway and its dimensions seem to indicate that it gave access to a passage towards other rooms on the western side of Saint Martin’s Patio, now lost.

This room is lit by a wide window found at the beginning of the gallery giving access to the Throne Room, and whose upper zone surpasses its height. Formally, it has a similar design to the one in the throne room, which we will examine on the next page: four columns with Gothic capitals divide the space into three zones, and from them spring a system of interlaced Gothic arches. The arch intradoses and the spaces above them are in the shape of Gothic tri-lobes, and above these are designs of vegetal arabesques in the Taifa tradition.

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