Palacio de Carlos V

Palacio de Carlos V information

Lonely Planet review

This huge Renaissance palace sticks out like a sore thumb in the Alhambra, because it clashes spectacularly with the style of its surroundings; were it in a different setting its merits would be more readily appreciated. Begun in 1527 by Pedro Machuca, an architect from Toledo who studied under Michelangelo, it was financed, perversely, from taxes on the Granada area's Morisco (converted Muslim) population.

Funds dried up after the Moriscos rebelled in 1568, and the palace remained roofless until the early 20th century. The main (western) façade features three porticos divided by pairs of fluted columns, with bas-relief battle carvings at their feet. The building is square but contains a two-tiered circular courtyard with 32 columns. This circle inside a square is the only Spanish example of a Renaissance ground plan symbolising the unity of earth and heaven. Inside are two museums: the ground-floor Museo de la Alhambra and the upstairs is the Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum).