Carlos V Palace
The construction of the Carlos V Palace was a consequence of the need to have a place with all the comforts of that time for the Emperor and his family, since the "Alcazar", which was his summer residence, did not cover his needs.
The Emperor ordered the construction of the palace near the Alhambra so he could enjoy its wonders. The architect in charge of the construction was "Pedro Machuca", who loved the Renaissance style and was an experienced architect. The works, that started in 1527 and finished in 1957, went through different stages, lack of money, revolts that stopped the construction, etc. The ceilings sank due to abandonment.
The palace has a square shape, the main façade is 63 meters wide by 17 meters high. It is remarkable its circular courtyard in the middle of the building, which is unique in its style and it is the most important work of the Renaissance style in Spain. Only the south and west façades are completely decorated. The north and east façades are partially decorated, due to the fact that the building is joined to the "Alcazar" of the Alhambra.
History of the monument
Being the Emperor Carlos V ruler of America, he took his court to the royal houses at the Alhambra, to spend there the summer of 1526. At that moment, the Emperor desired to make of Granada one of his residence places. For that purpose he ordered the construction of another palace, with more comforts and more space than the Arab, but connected to this one, so he could continue enjoying it. Therefore he continued the works of his grandparents, the Catholic Kings, and the desire to convert this palace into the great aulic center of the Empire. This way, they built one of the best Renaissance works, outside Italy, and the first great royal palace of the Spanish monarchs.
"D. Luis Hurtado de Mendoza" was the person who looked for the economical sources to pay for the construction of this project: the taxes the Moorish had to pay in exchange for keeping some of their traditions. Some time later, they had to find the resources elsewhere, from the "Alcazar" of Seville and from the sugar-factory of Granada. "Pedro Machuca" (architect and artist from Toledo) was in charge of the construction, in 1527, of the palace. This architect had learned his trade in Italy with "Miguel Angel", and this was the main project of his career. After his death, June 4th 1550, the project continued under the supervision of several architects, some as important as "Juan de Orea" who did the construction of the Cathedral of Granada, or "Juan de Minjares", assistant architect in charge of the palaces of "Aranjuez" and the "Escorial".
The building, cut-stone-made, has a square shape and it is 63 meters long by 17,40 meters high at the main façades, with an inscribed circular shaped courtyard in its interior, which resulted in a different, strange and unique floor plan (never before such a building had been constructed), of very difficult use. The palace is connected to the Arab "Alcazar", therefore only the south and west façades are completely decorated, partially the north and only half of the east one. The building consists of two bodies: the lower one of the Tuscan order, with cushioned walls and prominent pilasters with big bronze rings inserted in them to tie up the horses. In the spaces between the pilasters, rectangular windows open and over them round windows (recently closed with glass panels) are placed.