The Aljafería Palace in Zaragoza

One of the most important Andalusi cultural and historical monuments in Zaragoza is the Aljafería Palace (or Qasr al-Ja’fariyya). This fortress-palace complex was built between the ninth and eleventh centuries and was the political and administrative center of the northern parts of al-Andalus (thaghr al-‘ala). Although most of it was built during the second half of the 11th century during the period of the ta’ifa Kingdom of Zaragoza of Al-Andalus, later additions were made by Christian monarchs, who made it their northern residence in Spain. In the 11th century, it was the residence of the Banu Hud dynasty during the era of Abu Ja’far al-Muqtadir (r. 1046-1081). The palace reflects the splendor attained by the Kingdom of Zaragoza (1013-1110) at the height of its grandeur and provides a magnificent example of Islamic architecture during the early period of al-Andalus. The Aljafería Palace is one of the only royal residences from 11th-century Iberia to have been preserved almost perfectly until the present. The palace currently contains the Cortes (regional parliament) of the autonomous community of Aragon. This makes it one of the oldest structures in the world with a continuous use as a political center

File:Location map Taifa of Zaragoza.svgThe following are some pictures taken during my trip to the site in 2012 (I’ve also included a few higher-resolution pictures found online): Continue reading