AFTER four years of meticulous renovation bystanders thronged outside the crypt of the Palace of Carlos V to witness the gradual return of the 300 kilo lions – one of the most famous sights in the Alhambra Moorish palace and fortress complex.

The Alhambra’s director explained. “Thick layers of lime have been removed, which will help protect against the invasion of biological elements, as well as strengthening several cracks. They have also removed harmful metallic elements, and other adhesives, such as cement.”

Some important discoveries were made during the restoration process. Although the lions appear to be identical, they bear distinct characteristics.

The restoration project was not limited to just the lions. Thanks to a major investigation begun in 2002, the entire patio has undergone significant changes. The patio will open to the public next spring, with a new, white marble floor that will allow visitors to approach the fountain, which has been inaccessible to tourists since the 1990s.

The archeological investigation revealed that the patio did not originally have a garden, as was previously thought.

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