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

Palace of the Catholic Kings: Doorway


Access to the rooms in the Palace of the Catholic Kings is via a monumental stairway that begins in the passage that opens to the west side of Saint Isabel’s Patio, facing a narrow staircase leading to the upper chambers of the Hudí and Mudéjar Palaces.

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At the right side of the wall there is a carved tympanum with the arms of the Catholic Kings sustained by griffons, already discussed on the preceding page, which originally occupied the pointed pinnacle of the previous doorway at the stairway opening.

This tympanum was embedded in the wall, which at some point closed off the doorway of pointed arches on the northern portion of the ground floor, more specifically over the central pillar of the doorway, above a door that was centered under it. This placement can be seen in the photographs of Pedro I. Sobrediel before it was removed. These photos show a border or cresting of plaster that ran over the arch of the tympanum, which may well have been the original decoration or a historical copy.

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This plaster decoration was not preserved with the tympanum. Some of the original polychromy still exists, which had been remarked upon by Anselmo and Pedro Gascón the Gotor in 1891.

The ceiling of this little passage is covered with little vaults between the beams or crossbeams, painted in tempera with the royal emblem of the yoke and arrows alternating with grisaille motifs. We will see these in more detail in the following pages that deal with the ceiling of the grand staircase that is done in the same style.

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