The Corral del Carbon (Corral of Coal) is many things, but one of them is it being the only Nasrid alhondiga preserved in its entirety on the Iberian peninsula. Originally the building was a true Kahn or Caravanserai, for storing goods, although over the centuries it was adapted for a number of different uses, among them, being used as a storehouse for grain and coal, small apartments with a central courtyard and and an Open-Air Comedy Theatre. The monument can be visited as a part of our Granada Must-Do Tour.
It is one of the most important buildings preserved from Granada’s Nasrid period, and its survival is owed to the multiple uses it has had throughout history. The Corral del Carbon was built in the 16th century as a Khan or Caravanserai, a characteristic building in Muslim medieval medinas, in the middle of their commercial area. Its original name is al-fundaq al-yayida or New Alhóndiga, and in fact is the only preserved Alhóndiga from the Al-Andalus Nasrid period. The name Corral del Carbón already showed up in 1531, due to its use as a storage facility for coal.
Its survival to the present day is due to being adapted for multiple uses over the centuries. Starting in the 16th century it was turned into a Casa de Comedias (House of comedies), and from the 17th century onwards it was transformed into small apartments with a central courtyard.
It has an impressive façade made with a large horseshoe arch. The arch, pointed with brick keystones, is decorated with a number of small lobed arches carved in plaster that make up complex and gorgeous lattice work. It was originally painted in variety of colours. A mullioned window dominates it on a narrow central column with a sebka strip on each side.
This arch gives way to a vestibule with benches on the sides, on which there are a number of decorated arches with arabesque motifs that are covered with a vault of muqarnas. Once inside the alhóndiga you can go to a square courtyard with three floors. In the centre of the courtyard there is a preserved stone tub from the initial construction.
Currently the Corral del Carbon houses the technical office for the Granada International Festival of Music and Dance, as well as being a place for cultural activity in the city, where there are a lot of shows such as music and dance recitals as well as theatre, especially in summer months.