The Salón de los Embajadores (Hall of the Ambassadors) is the largest in the Alhambra and occupies all the Torre de Comares. It is a square room, the sides being 12 m (37 ft) in length, while the centre of the dome is 23 m (75 ft) high. This was the grand reception room, and the throne of the sultan was placed opposite the entrance. It was in this setting that Christopher Columbus received Isabel and Ferdinand’s support to sail to the New World. The tilework is extensive.
The palaces of the Alhambra and Generalife form the most important architectural ensemble to survive from the Nasrid period (1232–1492). The walled Alhambra city which sits on a steep hill, comprised the Alcazaba (alqaṣaba: ‘fortress’), palaces, mansions, two mosques, baths (ḥammams), an industrial zone with tanneries, a mint, kilns, workshops, and some adjacent royal estates such as the Generalife. The Generalife was built on ascending terraces. The sovereign reached the Generalife’s royal mansion, the Dar al-Mamlaka al-Sa'ida (‘royal house of felicity’), from the Alhambra’s Puerta de Hierro, also built by Muhammad II. He ascended through orchards, crossed a first courtyard and entered the second through a guarded south portico, to ascend to a vestibule with a structural bench and up a steep staircase to the Patio de la Acequia. Gardens and fountains are interspersed throughout the palace complex. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.