Palacio de Carlos V

Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, Granada

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The Palace of Carlos V is a Renaissance construction located on the hill of the Alhambra.

The initiative for the construction of the palace came from Emperor Carlos V from his wedding to Isabel de Portugal, held in Seville in 1526. After the marriage, the couple resided for several months in the Alhambra, being deeply impressed by the Nasrid Palaces, leaving commissioned the construction of the new palace with the intention of establishing his residence in the Alhambra in Granada.

The Catholic Monarchs had already set up rooms after 1492, but Charles's intention was to provide himself with a stable residence tailored to an emperor. The project was assigned to Pedro Machuca.

In a Spain in which the prevailing style was Plateresque, and which had not completely detached itself from Gothic, Machuca built a palace that corresponds stylistically to Mannerism, a style that was taking its first steps in Italy.

Even accepting the versions that place Machuca in the workshops of Miguel Ángel, when the construction of the Palace began in 1527, he had not yet carried out the most representative of his architectural production.

The building was built in the heart of the Muslim Alhambra, at one end of the patio de los Arrayanes and for its construction it was necessary to demolish a pavilion opposite the tower of Comares. This fact, which has been the subject of criticism and controversy, must be understood in the context of its time: the Palace of Carlos I did not mean so much the destruction of part of the Alhambra as the guarantee of survival of the rest. At a time when the most common was the total destruction of palaces and temples of the subjugated peoples, the sensitivity of the Christian kings to the incontestable beauty of the Alhambra meant the need to enjoy it from within and, therefore, to preserve it.

The mastery of classical language that Machuca demonstrates consciously subverts it: this has nothing to do with other Spanish works of the time, mostly based on local conceptions. His influence was very limited, because it was misunderstood: many years would remain until Juan Bautista de Toledo and Juan de Herrera reached the high levels of classicism of the El Escorial monastery.

Since 1572, with the Moorish rebellion of the Alpujarras, the works were slowed down and were definitively interrupted in 1637, with the walls and vaults completed, in the absence of covering water.

During the War of Independence, the French army converted the palace into an artillery store, that same function was maintained when the Spanish troops took over the building, which kept a large quantity of gunpowder, bullets and stone coal inside. The permanence of the explosives posed a serious danger to the palace and to the entire Alhambra.

Almost twenty years after the war, the English traveler and writer Samuel Edward Cook wrote around 1828: "The Palace of Charles V is still used as a powder magazine; it is without lightning rods and the single spark of lightning could destroy the remains of this interesting building and probably the whole Alhambra ".

In 1832, the palace was finally evacuated. The state of the construction at the time, according to the governor, was pitiful and he considered a miracle that it had not collapsed.

Article obtained from Wikipedia article Wikipedia in his version of 15/10/2020, by various authors under the license Licencia de Documentación Libre GNU.