Minaret at Iglesia de San José
Granada, Spain

The minaret at the Church of San José is one of two that have survived in Granada, a city in which, according to textual evidence, there were once well over one hundred mosques. Constructed between the 9th and 11th centuries, it was part of a mosque that is identified in post-conquest documents as the "Mosque of the Murabitin." It is located within the citadel (Spanish Alcazaba). In 1517 the mosque was destroyed to make way for the Church of San José (completed in 1525), so only the cistern1 and minaret remain. As was the case elsewhere on the Iberian Peninsula, the minaret was appropriated to serve as the new bell tower.

The square minaret measures 3.85 meters per side. A quadrangular staircase ascends around a solid central core. The lower portion of the tower is constructed of large stone blocks, while the upper portion is constructed of smaller blocks laid in an alternating pattern of three vertical, narrow headers framing wide horizontal stretchers. A single horseshoe-arched window illuminates the lower portion. In addition at the top, a single bell hangs inside each of four rounded arches on each of the four sides of the tower.


1 See: Fco, Javier Hernández. 2016. “Aljibe De San José.” Lugares de Granada Con Encanto. November 14, 2016. https://lugaresdegranada.blogspot.com/2016/11/aljibe-san-jose.html. Archived at: https://perma.cc/5TPH-UM9N.


M. Gómez Moreno. 1907. Monumentos arquitectónicos de España: Granada. Madrid, p. 54-55.

Antonio Orihuela Uzal. 1995. "Granada, Capital del Reino Nazarí."Arquitectura del Islam Occidental. Barcelona: Lunwerg, p. 203.

Leopoldo Torres-Balbas. 1941. "El alminar de la Iglesia de San José y las construcciones de los ziries granadinos," Al-Andalus, VI, Fasc. 1, p. 427-446.

Granada, Spain
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Associated Collections
ca. 1050; 1517-1525 conversion to use with the church
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Variant Names
Masjid al-Murabitin
The Mosque of the Murabitin
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