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The Palace of Charles V is a Renaissance building in Granada, southern Spain, located on the top of the hill of the Assabica, inside the Nasrid fortification of the Alhambra. The building has never been a home to a monarch and stood roofless until 1957. The origin of Palace of Charles V was the need for a place that would include all the comforts of the time for the Emperor and his family, as the palaces, which were their summer residence, did not cover their needs. The construction went through several stages, the lack of financing resources, revolts that stopped the works, etc. The palace is square and its main façade is 63 meters wide and 17 meters high. Its circular patio is unique and it is the most important building of Renaissance style in Spain. Only the southern and western façades are completely decorated. The northern and southern sides are not because they are connected to the palaces of the Alhambra. Two museums are located in the Palace of Charles V: the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Museo de la Alhambra. There are many things to do at Palace of Charles V for your visit.
Palace of Charles V
The first thing to do at Palace of Charles of V is to see the magnificent patio. The patio has two levels. The lower consists of a Doric colonnade of conglomerate stone, with an orthodox classical entablature formed of triglyphs and metopes. The upper floor is formed by a stylized Ionic colonnade whose entablature has no decoration. This organisation of the patio shows a deep knowledge of Roman architecture, and would be framed in pure Renaissance style but for its curved shape, which surprises the visitor entering from the main façades. The interior spaces and the staircases are also governed by the combination of square and circle. Similar aesthetic devices would be developed in the following decades under the classification of Mannerism. The palace was not completed, and remained roofless until the late twentieth century.
The Art Museum is located in the upper galleries of the Charles V Palace. Although inaugurated in 1839, the collection didn't move to the palace until 1958. Today it's the oldest museum in Spain. Inside, as expected, you'll find a treasure trove of fine art. There are paintings and sculpture from the 15th to the 20th centuries. The area is divided into four main sections, laid over ten rooms and contains over two thousand items. To enter the museum, you need to purchase an extra ticket. The ticket only costs €1.50 or free for EU citizens.
Located in the Palace of Charles V, the Museo de la Alhambra features outstanding exhibits on the Hispanic-Moorish civilisation and on art under the Caliphs and the Nasrid dynasty. The museum is devoted to Hispanic-Moorish culture and art. It contains numerous archaeological artefacts collected at the Alhambra, or in related outside excavations. Visitors to this centre can see items representing the religion, science and economy of the Moors, as well as objects from the early years of their presence on the Iberian Peninsula, with two distinct periods under the emirs and under the caliphs. The plasterwork on the walls, the carved wooden ceilings and the tableware are particularly beautiful.
How to Get Tickets?
The Palace of Charles V is nestled in the heart of the Alhambra. Therefore, you need to purchase a ticket to Alhambra to be able to visit the palace. The tickets are better to be purchased online, prefreably at least 1 day before you plan to visit since the Alhambra only allows certain amount of visitors eacy day. It's too risky to go there without a ticket, so make sure you booked your ticket online and bring the e-ticket with you when you visit. Booking and purchase of tickets are done online in the system of management and sales of tickets of the Council of the Alhambra and Generalife, by telephone or on TVRs.These tickets can be purchased through 'print at home', on the TVRs or at the ticket office.Tickets may not be resold– use the correct names when booking and carry identification when visiting the Alhambra.
How To Get Around?
Palace of Charles V can be explored on foot. It is the best way to explore the area while admiring the work of arts.
What Should I Wear?
In the summer, wear t-shirts and shorts to make yourself comfortable, it could reach 36 degrees during the day. Put on your sunscreen to protect your skin.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Palace of Charles V is in the morning before it gets overcrowded. Purchase the morning ticket to Alhambra and visit the palace once you get in the area.
Will I Need a Guide?
You will not need a tour guide at Palace of Charles V but at least have a good guidebook or audio guide to make sense out of the complex. Pick up the free map when collecting tickets or before entering the Alhambra complex. However, you can find all the important informations on this website.
How To Get There?
You can take the red minibus Alhambra Bus C3, which leaves every 10 minutes from Plaza Nueva to the Alhambra. The stop where you need to get off is called 'Generalife'. You can buy the bus ticket directly on the bus. Once you arrive in Alhambra area, enter from the main gate and walk to the Palace.