When Carlos V came to Granada on his honeymoon, he fell in love with the Alhambra and the city. He took up residence in the Arab palaces but decided to build his own larger, more spacious palace adjoined to the Nasrid Palaces so that he could continue to enjoy them.
He commissioned the architect Pedro Machuca to design a building befitting a Roman Emperor and work began in 1527. Machuca died in 1550 and his son Luis took over. The project was then continued but most of the major work had by this time been completed.
This Renacentist building is 63m2 square on the outside with a 30m diameter circular courtyard on the inside. Originally there would have been a well in the middle but this has now been covered over.
The project was partly paid for with taxes collected from the Moriscos (Muslims who had converted to Christianity) in return for being allowed to stay in Granada and continue with their traditions.
The building has two levels: the lower level of the patio has 32 stone Doric columns and the upper level has 32 Ionic columns. The building was to be covered with a domed ceiling like the Pantheon in Rome but was never finished and the roof on the superior gallery was only completed in 1957.
Carlos V never lived here. When he died, Felipe II transferred his court to Madrid in 1561 and in 1607 Madrid became the capital of Spain.
Today, the building houses the Museo de Bellas Artes with exhibits from the Alhambra.
For more photos of the Carlos V Palace, please visit this page.