Palace of Charles V

Granada, Spain

Palace of Charles V


The Palace of Charles V is a Renaissance building in Granada, southern Spain, inside the Alhambra, a former Nasrid palace complex on top of the Sabika hill. Construction began in 1527 but dragged on and was left unfinished after 1637. The building has never been a home to a monarch and stood roofless until 1967. Today, the building also houses the Alhambra Museum on its ground floor and the Fine Arts Museum of Granada on its upper floor.

The palace commissioned by Charles V in the middle of the Alhambra was designed by Pedro Machuca, an architect who had trained under Michelangelo in Rome and who was steeped in the culture of the Italian High Renaissance and of the artistic circles of Raphael and Giulio Romano. It was conceived in a contemporary Renaissance style or "Roman" style with an innovative design reflecting the architectural ideals of this period. The architecture espoused by Charles V in Spain at this time was also influenced by, among other traditions, the Plateresque style. The construction of a monumental Italian or Roman-influenced palace in the heart of the Nasrid-built Alhambra symbolized Charles V's imperial status and the triumph of Christianity over Islam achieved by his grandparents (the Catholic Monarchs).

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