Crafted ceiling in the Aljafería Throne Room

Crafted ceiling in the Aljafería Throne Room
Crafted ceiling in the Aljafería Throne Room

On another occasion we told you about one of the best fortresses of Muslim origin that are preserved in Spain. The Aljafería Castle in the city of Zaragoza which perfectly represents the period of the Taifa kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula.


Coffered ceiling in the Aljafería Throne Room

But this castle has been in repeated use for centuries, and other elements were added in later times. So today we are going to talk about a Mudejar style jewel that is kept inside. It is the Mudejar coffered ceiling that covers the Throne Room of this fortress that became a palace.

In fact, it was built when the Aljafería became the royal palace of the Catholic Monarchs. And this room would have protocol uses. It was then that such a decorative coffered ceiling was built on the ceiling, which contrasts with the clean walls of the great room, and it is that tapestries and other mobile elements would be placed on them, always quite luxurious.

The coffered ceiling is entirely made of wood. A carved and polychrome wood, in which the golden elements stand out in many geometric motifs of clear Mudejar inspiration. In fact, it is a Mudejar ceiling just like that of the Teruel Cathedral, but in this case, in addition to certain technical novelties from aconstructive, it does not have so much paint either. On the other hand, there are many more motifs carved into the wood in the form of hanging pineapples, countless plant and geometric shapes, in addition to the emblems of the monarchs, represented with the yoke and arrows with the motto “Tanto Monta”

We see 30 square boxes in which Mudejar motifs merge with the Christian tradition of Gothic. So there are fallen leaves, bows, palmettes, scrolls, stars, roses, etc.

And of course the calligraphy that runs along the entire lower part of the roof, like a frieze, is also Gothic, in which we must also highlight the open practicable gallery with more than 80 ogee arches. A gallery in which the ladies surely looked out during the official sessions that were held here. Although this Throne Room, the researchers believe that it also had a more festive value, being the favorite place of the palace for the celebration of dances or certain banquets.

In short, this work from the end of the 15th century is the fruit of a long Moorish, Mudejar and Christian artistic tradition, a most enriching aesthetic fusion and that it is a unique case in European art of the time.

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