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Charles V’s Pillar

Located beside the Gate of Justice, its structure symbolizes the three rivers of Granada.

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Adjacent to the Gate of Justice is a circular artillery bastion from where a cut stone wall descends, in front of which a Grenadian Renaissance sculptural masterpiece of stone stands: The Charles V’s Pillar. It shows two tall figures and a tripartite composition of three different figureheads, interpreted by some as representing the rivers of Granada: the Darro, the Beiro, and the Genil; and by others as summer, spring and autumn, owing to the fact that the heads are crowned respectively with ears of grain, flowers and fruit.

In the centre of the second figure is a modillion, with an inscription alluding to Emperor Charles V, flanked by two pilasters showing the Borgoña and Lorena coat of arms and Hercules’ columns. There is also a semicircular attic, on the tympanum of which is sculpted the imperial coat of arms.

The wall stretch supporting the pillar has four medallions sculpted with three mythological figures: Hercules killing the Lerna Hydra; the sisters of Frixo and Hele crossing the Hellespont astride a ram; Daphne pursued by Apollo; and Alexander Magno.