The Muslim West
Seats of Power: Palaces
The palace complex, a walled enclosure.
Having gained independence from the Eastern caliphate, the concentration of political and religious power vested in the new sovereigns brought with it the desire to emulate their Eastern counterparts by building luxurious palace complexes. Almost all rulers made use of this exclusive attribute and built centres of power for themselves or for their governors.
Palatial complexes were traditionally located outside the city as spectacular walled 'palace cities', or at the highest point within the city itself, separated from it by a wall. These 'palace citadels' were used to control the town's population and to defend the vital mechanisms of power.
Sitting lion

Hegira 406–547 / AD 1015–1152
National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Arts
Algiers, Algeria
The walls both defended and isolated the sovereign; their monumental gateways sometimes decorated with welcoming symbols or alluding to the ruling power.