In the first half of the fourteenth century, the Nasrid Sultan Yusuf I ordered the construction of a madrasa next to Granada's congregational mosque. Fragments from the original façade are preserved in the Museo Arqueológico y Etnológico de Granada, including an inscription, which states that the building was dedicated in the month of Muhurram in 750 (March or April 1349). It is also mentioned in texts written by Ibn al-Khatib.
The only surviving part of the school is the prayer room. It is a square-shaped room oriented by its mihrab. Carved, polychrome plaster covers the upper portions of the walls and doorjamb. Calligraphy consistent in style and content with other Nasrid monuments is an integral part of the decoration. Muqarnas in the four corners of the room form an upward transition into an octagonal drum that has sixteen windows with pierced screens. Above the prayer room is an octagonal wooden ceiling with interlaced star shapes, open in the center and topped by a smaller octagonal drum with sixteen windows and a plaster-decorated ceiling. (Segments of the ceiling have been modified during restoration.)
In 1500, the madrasa was converted to serve as the Christian-controlled city's Casa del Cabildo (town hall). The entire building was thoroughly renovated and altered between 1722 and 1729, when it was given a baroque facade. Today, no longer the town hall, it is referred to as the Palacio de la Madraza or the Ayuntamiento Viejo.
Castillo Brazales, Juan and Orihuela Uzal, Antonio. 2002. En busca de la Granada andalusí. Granada: Editorial Comares, 259-263.
Martín Martín, Eduardo and Torices Abarca, Nicolás. 1998. Guía de Arquitectura de Granada. Granada: Junta de Andalucía.