Palace of Charles V

The decision to build the Palace in the Alhambra symbolized the triumph of Christianity over Islam.

For your interest

  • Gates

    There are four main gates in the wall, two on the north side, -the Gate of Arms and the Gate of the Arrabal, and two on the south side,the Gate of Justice and the Gate of the Seven Floors.

  • The Alcazaba

    It was the residential area of the royal guard in charge of the security of the palatial city

  • Tower of the Candle

    la Torre de la Vela, nombrada en época nazarí torre Mayor y durante el siglo XVI puerta del Sol ya que se refleja en la fachada de mediodía actuando como un reloj de sol para la ciudad.

  • Museum of the Alhambra

    The tour of the Alhambra also includes a visit to the museum, with its collection of Nasrid Art, which was found in archaeological excavations or restoration works in the Monument.

  • St. Mary Church

    With Latin-cross floor design and side chapels, outstanding is its Baroque altarpiece framed by large Solomon-style columns from the 17th century

  • Museum in Honour of Ángel Barrios

    Drawings, paintings, musical scores and letters of the Grenadian composer, Ángel Barrios, form this collection

  • The Court of Machuca

    Two round fountains with water flowing into a pool in the centre of the court are its main feature.

  • The Mexuar- Oratory

    Counsel of Ministers meetings and worship took place in these rooms.

  • The Golden Room

    The beautiful woodwork ceiling gives its name to this room, whose original decoration is attributed to Muhammad V.

  • The Façade of Comares

    The Sultan received his vassals at the foot of the Façade of Comares, which separated the administrative and familiar sectors inside the Palace.

  • The Court of the Myrtles

    The Main Canal acts as a mirror that reflects the building structures and breaks the structural horizontal lines of the court.

  • The Room of the Ship

    There are two possible origins of its name: its cylindrical vault or the Arab term “al-baraka”, which is repeatedly inscribed on its walls.

  • The Chamber of the Ambassadors

    This Throne Room is the largest room of the building, flanked by nine small rooms, one of which was reserved for the Sultan

  • The Bath of Comares

    The baths being essential Moorish urban elements, it is easy to understand why each palace in the Alhambra has its own baths.

  • The Hall of the Muqarnas

    One of the rooms in the Palace of the Lions was used as a hall or vestibule owing to its proximity to the main entrance of the Palace

  • The Court of the Lions – Fountain – Water Jet

    The Court of the Lions – Fountain – Water Jet . Alhambra of Granada

  • The Hall of the Abencerrages

    A spectacular vault decorated with eight-point star-shaped stalactites that open out on eight elephant-like trunks is the most remarkable ornamental element of the hall.

  • The Hall of the Kings. Paintings

    Five alcoves that flank a large hall were used for receptions and celebrations. Their domed ceilings are its most remarkable feature.

  • The Ajimeces Gallery

    It got its name from the ajimeces, wooden balconies with latticework that are found in this room.

  • The Hall of the Two Sisters

    The vault, which has a central star motif made up of stalactites, is the masterpiece of the second main chamber of the Palace of the Lions.

  • The Court of the Vestibule or Observation Point of Daraxa

    The delicate tile decoration and the well-proportioned Nasrid architectural style make this one of most beautiful of the Alhambra Palaces

  • King Charles V’s Chambers

    His visit to the Alhambra impressed him so much that he decided to build an “imperial suite” near the Moorish palaces.

  • The Queen’s Robing Room

    An open gallery overlooking the Tower of Abu-I-Hayyay that breaks with the conventional wall patterns.

  • The Court of the Grated Window

    A balcony occupies the upper part of the south loft serving as a corridor between the rooms and protecting them

  • The Court of the Lindaraja

    Though structurally similar to the Court of the Grated Window, it is more cloister-like. It bears the name of its balcony.

  • The Partal

    A large central pond faces the arched portico behind which stands the Tower of the Ladies

  • The Rauda

    Rawda means cemetery. It was here, beside the Palace of the Lions, where the royal family interred its deceased family members

  • The Palace of Yusuf III

    Outstanding is the long pool in the central courtyard with a lush garden, on the sides of which are the ruins of some rooms.

  • The Promenade of the Towers

    Several towers can be found along the route from the Partal Gardens to the Generalife and the Upper Alhambra.

  • Urban Distribution

    Andalusian and Islamic, the Alhambra was conceived as a city built for the royal court.

Gallery Location

Charles V, King and elected Emperor, was a monarch that was travelling throughout Europe when he decided to build his Palace in the Alhambra. His aim was not to establish his capital in Granada but to build another royal residence, significant for its symbolic value and location: a Muslim citadel conquered by his grandparents, the Catholic Monarchs.

The construction of the Palace in the Alhambra, despite its careful design, changed the aspect of the complex, altering its internal structure and its connection to the city. The original project included a large colonnaded square to the west and a smaller square to the south, thus significantly modifying the accesses to the citadel.

The Emperor decided to build the Palace in 1526 following the “Roman” style, probably influenced by the Governor of the Alhambra and Captain General Luis Hurtado de Mendoza, whose family played an important role in the introduction of the Italian culture in Castile, although the model of the palace could also have been suggested by Baldasare Castiglione, a friend of Rafael and Giulio Romano. 

The original project was designed by Pedro Machuca, trained in the artistic circle of the Rome of Lion X, who supervised the works of the palace between 1533 and 1550, the date of his death, completing the palace’s façades except for the west and east façades. Pedro was succeeded by his son Luis who developed the circular courtyard; the works were abandoned for 15 years owing to the rebellion of the Moors in Granada in 1568.   

In 1619 the construction of the high colonnade of the courtyard was completed and the works continued until they were definitively abandoned in 1637, leaving the roof unfinished.

When Philip IV visited Granada in 1628 he could not stay at the Palace, as it was not inhabitable after 90 years of works. The Palace remained unfinished until Leopoldo Torres Balbas devised a plan to recover the building in 1923. 

In the formal design of the Palace there was a strong intention of expressing a “Roman-like” architecture through the originality of the ground plant design, a circle enclosed in a square, and the use of the Renaissance architectural language.

Noteworthy in the general design is the use of the octagonally shaped chapel, a geometrical shape that can be considered the second core structure of the Palace, and which was very popular in the Renaissance.

The selection of the Alhambra as the site to erect the Palace manifests the triumph of Christianity over Islam. That is why it was necessary to maintain the old Islamic constructions as a counterbalance to the weight and power of the classic Roman concept of the new palace. Charles V, as the Emperor of the Sacred Roman Empire, stood in the succession line of the Roman emperors of Antiquity.