The Palacio de Comares, also called El Palacio de los Arrayanes (Palace of the Myrtles), is one of the two main units that constitute the Alhambra palaces today. It was begun during the reign of Isma'il I and completed during the reign of Muhammad V in 1370. It consists of the rectangular Court of Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes), which is abutted to the west by the rectangular Mexuar hall, where state business was conducted, and the Patio of the Cuarto Dorado, used as a throne chamber for the Sultan. To the east the Court abuts a bath complex and the Palace of the Lions.
On the north side of the Patio de los Arrayanes, a gallery gives onto an oblong hall known as La Sala de la Barca (Hall of the Boat). This, in turn, communicates with the majestic Hall of the Ambassadors (Salon de los Embajadores), used by the Nasrids for state receptions. The square-plan Hall is housed within the large crenelated Tower of Comares and contains a wooden vault inlaid with mother-of-pearl stars and alcoves in three walls that provide dramatic views of the landscape beyond.
The Palace is highly ornamented with tile work dados, carved stucco, and inscriptions.
Dickie, James. 1981.The Alhambra: Some Reflections Prompted by a Recent Study by Oleg Grabar. In Studia Arabica et Islamica: Festschrift for Ihsan Abbas on his sixtieth birthday. Ed. Wadad al-Qadi. Beirut: American University Press, 127-49.
Ibid. 1992. The Palaces of the Alhambra. In al-Andalus: the art of Islamic Spain. Edited by Jerrilynn D. Dodds. New York: Abrams, 135-51.
Fernandez Puertas, Antonio. 1997. The Alhambra. 2 v. London: Saqi Books.
Orihuela Uzal, Antonio. 1996. Casas y palacios nazaries: siglos XIII-XV. Seville: Junta de Andalucia, Consejeria de Cultura, Consejeria de Turismo y Deporte; Granada: El Legado Andalusi; Barcelona: Lunwerg Editores.
Ruggles, D.F. 2000. "The Alhambra." In Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 163-208.