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Review: Alhambra

Attraction - Historic house or stately home

Granada, Spain

The Alhambra - Palace of Charles V

  • By SilverTraveller ESW

    2513 reviews

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  • November 2016
  • Solo

149 people found this review helpful

The Alhambra is one of the ‘must See’ sites of Spain. There is so much to see and take in, so to make my review manageable, I’ve broken it down into four parts. Other reviews cover the Nasrid Palaces, the Alcazaba and there is a general review about visiting and some history.

Ferdinand and Isabella were stunned by the beauty of the Alhambra Palace, compared with the medieval castles they were used to, and made it their base. Their grandson Charles V was the grandson of Isabella and Ferdinand and planned for a new palace to be built to mark the break with the overthrown Moorish rulers and the new Catholic dynasty ruling Spain.

The Palace of Charles V was designed as a massive Renaissance building, a symbol of the power and status of the new Catholic rulers of Spain. The bottom is made of massive beviled stones. The upper part is dressed stone. There are medallions above the windows and carved friezes along the front with scenes from the Battle of Pavia, when the armies of Charles V had crushed the French army. It dwarfs the Nasrid palaces next to it.

It is built round a magnificent circular courtyard with two tiers of columns.

Work started in 1527, but once started, Charles lost interest and never visited to watch progress. Money ran out in 1637 leaving the palace uncompleted. It was never lived in as the court had moved to Madrid, and was finally finished in the mid C20th. There is no restriction on entry and it now houses two museums – the Museum of the Alhambra with a collection of Nasrid and Mudejar Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, with work from the C17-C20th.

I visited here as part of a ‘Flavours of Spain’ holiday arranged with Solos Holidays.

My detailed trip report with all my pictures is

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