The Alhambra Lions
The Courtyard of the Lions is the main courtyard of the Nasrid dynasty Palace of the Lions, in the heart of the Alhambra. It was commissioned by the Nasrid sultan Muhammed V of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus. Its construction started between 1362 and 1391 AD. The Fountain of the Lions consists of a central basin supported by 12 white marble lions whose mouths are the water jets of the fountain. Some research suggests that the 11th century lions of the Lion Fountain came from the house of the Jewish vizier “Yusuf Ibn Nagrela” (1066). They are large for sculptures of animals in Islamic art, but as in other sites of al-Andalus such as the earlier Medina Azahara near Cordoba, there are multiple animals and that they are shown in a subordinate position, as carrying the bowl of the fountain, helps to dispel any possibility of an idolatrous intention, which was the concern of Muslim clergy.
The Lions were removed in 2007 for restoration while the fountain was restored in situ while the court was closed to visitors, the marble lions were restored on the premises of the Department of Conservation of the Council of the Alhambra. The lions were put back in place in July 2012 after recovering the traditional water flow system of the Court of the Lions. These images document the The Lions before, during and after restoration process.