The Tower of the Captive one of the most beautiful and mysterious places in the whole monumental complex of the Alhambra. It was built at the end of the thirteenth century, but it was at the time of Yusuf I, when it was renewed, and adecuated to be a house, in the first half of fourteenth century.
On the outside, it appears to be any other defensive tower of the rest of the fortified area, a Qalahurra, or castle. Nevertheless, its outside defensive nature contrast with its richly decorated interior.
The Tower of the Captive has received different names has received different names throughout its history: Tower of the Thief, Tower of the Ladies or Tower of the Sultana… From the mid-nineteenth century is known as the Tower of the Captive, as the romantic literary legend says that inside it was imprisoned in Ms Isabel de Solís , who later became sultana of the Nasrid Kingdom under the name of Soraya.
Its rich decoration inside makes it one of the most impressive and prominent areas of the Alhambra. Its structure and distribution are just the same as the ret houses and palaces from the monumental complex.
This space, along with the Hall of Comares , boasts the most complex decorative program of the Alhambra. A poem inscribed in the room, beginning at the upper left corner of it, gives us the key to understand :
“This work has come to decorate the Alhambra
is home to the peaceful ones and the warriors
Calahorra containing a palace
Say that is a fortress and also a mansion for joy!
It is a palace in which the splendor is spread
between its ceiling, its floor and its four walls
in the stucco and tiles there are wonders,
but the carved wood ceilings are even more extraordinary….”
It is open from 8.30am to 18 hours, on Tuesday, Wednesday , Thursday and Sundays, and anyone with the General Daytime Visit or the Garden visit may get in.