I was wondering why so many Spanish buildings are built around tiny courtyards. Our guide at Alhambra explained. Yes, another Arabic influence. Being from the desert where it is too hot to be outside, they built with open space in order to be able to enjoy the outside. These courtyards were mostly for the use of the women who seldom left the house.
Some of the most beautiful of the palaces courtyards were for the women. Arabic Sultans were allowed 4 wives and as many concubines as they wanted. In one of the palaces at Alhambra, there was a beautiful courtyard with 4 elaborately decorated doors. These doors leading to the quarters of the wives.