Friday, February 8, 2013

Alhambra II--The Palace of Charles V

The Palacio de Carlos V or Palace of Charles V was begun in 1526 by order of Emperor Charles V. It was not intended so much as a seat of rule but as a residence and, perhaps more significantly, a symbol of the triumph of Christianity over Islam. The palace occupies a large space within the walls of the Alhambra (the last Muslim citadel to be reconquered) and reflects the "Roman-style" that was so popular during the Renaissance. The building is square with a round courtyard inside. The work went slowly. Over 100 years later, Philip IV came to visit and was unable to stay there since it was still not habitable. It remained unfinished until the 1920s when the general restoration of the Alhambra was begun.

Imposing entrance to the Palace of Charles V


It is now home to an extensive collection of Spanish-Islamic art. We saw many objects but I was soon stopped from photographing by the guards. They were polite but insistent.

Coins from various centuries

I think this was a trough, but the wolves biting the deer is a strange motif

The exterior of the building (where photography was permissible) also has many fine decorations.

Lions are always a popular guardian, though the relief below him is in bad shape

Better relief

J and L find a fountain, though much more spectacular ones awaited us

J and L's discovery of a fountain made J happy, but he was much more ecstatic when we walked down the hill through the Gate of Justice and discovered Charles V's other namesake at the Alhambra, the Pilar de Carlos V.

A fountain worthy of Emperor Charles!

The royal crest in the pavement

Working our way further back in time, next post will be on the Nasrid Palaces.

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