Palace of Charles V

Granada, Spain

The Palace of Charles V is a Renaissance building located on the top of the hill of the Assabica, inside the Nasrid fortification of the Alhambra. The building has never been a home to a monarch and stood roofless until 1957.

The structure was commanded by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who wished to establish his residence close to the Alhambra palaces. Although the Catholic Monarchs had already altered some rooms of the Alhambra after the conquest of the city in 1492, Charles V intended to construct a permanent residence befitting an emperor. The project was given to Pedro Machuca, an architect whose biography and influences are poorly understood. At the time, Spanish architecture was immersed in the Plateresque style, still with traces of Gothic origin. Machuca built a palace corresponding stylistically to Mannerism, a mode still in its infancy in Italy. The exterior of the building uses a typically Renaissance combination of rustication on the lower level and ashlar on the upper. Even if accounts that place Machuca in the atelier of Michelangelo are accepted, at the time of the construction of the palace in 1527, the latter had yet to design the majority of his architectural works.

The plan of the palace is a 17-metre high, 63-metre square containing an inner circular patio. This has no precedent in Renaissance architecture, and places the building in the avant-garde of its time. The palace has two floors (not counting mezzanine floors). The classical orders are in pilaster form except around the central doorways. On the exterior, the lower floor is in the Tuscan order, with the pilasters 'blocked' by continuing the heavy rustication across them, while the upper storey uses the Ionic order, with elaborately pedimented lower windows below round windows. Both main façades emphasize the portals, made of stone from the Sierra Elvira.

The circular patio has also two levels. The lower consists of a Doric colonnade of conglomerate stone, with an orthodox classical entablature formed of triglyphs and metopes. The upper floor is formed by a stylized Ionic colonnade whose entablature has no decoration. This organisation of the patio shows a deep knowledge of Roman architecture, and would be framed in pure Renaissance style but for its curved shape, which surprises the visitor entering from the main façades. The interior spaces and the staircases are also governed by the combination of square and circle. Similar aesthetic devices would be developed in the following decades under the classification of Mannerism.

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Details

Founded: 1526
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Spain

More Information

es.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Conrad Vomstein (2 years ago)
Mid-September: Beautiful and free to visit, even without ticket. The museum you can visit for free if you are an EU citizen.
Llubitza Banic (2 years ago)
I think this palace is beautiful... the most important is the meaning ..... was buildEd as a gift from Charles to his wife.... as present and symbol of love. The architecture outside is beautiful inside is unique is circular. Looks like a plaza de toros .. bull fighter ring..... Only does not have any furniture left, I can picture as nice place....
Mark Powell (2 years ago)
Great! A really beautiful palace and gardens. Plenty of places to sit and reflect. Admire the beautiful woodwork and tile work while smelling the various aromas from that fawna. Be sure to purchase your tickets we'll in advance for the palace!
Nicola Byrnes (2 years ago)
This palace seems quite odd in the middle of the Alhambra site as it’s not in keeping with the rest of the buildings. But it’s still worth a visit. It’s free to enter and there is a museum with art on display and the central circular courtyard is impressive. I never did find out why they put ornate metal handles all around the outer wall of the building
Hope Reynolds (2 years ago)
Our travel to Spain 2019 was filled with adventure, great food & wine and history. The Palace of Charles V: Already owner of America, Emperor Charles V moved his court to the royal houses of the Alhambra, to spend the summer of 1526. The Emperor desired to make Granada one of his residences, so he planned to build a new palace with more comfort and more space, to turn this great courtly palace in the center of the Empire. That was indeed one of the finest Renaissance works that are outside Italy and the first major royal palace of the Spanish monarchs. Don't miss it!
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