The construction of the Palace in the Alhambra, despite its careful design, changed the aspect of the complex, altering its internal structure and its connection to the city. The original project included a large colonnaded square to the west and a smaller square to the south, thus significantly modifying the accesses to the citadel.
The Emperor decided to build the Palace in 1526 following the “Roman” style, probably influenced by the Governor of the Alhambra and Captain General Luis Hurtado de Mendoza, whose family played an important role in the introduction of the Italian culture in Castile, although the model of the palace could also have been suggested by Baldasare Castiglione, a friend of Rafael and Giulio Romano.
The original project was designed by Pedro Machuca, trained in the artistic circle of the Rome of Lion X, who supervised the works of the palace between 1533 and 1550, the date of his death, completing the palace’s façades except for the west and east façades. Pedro was succeeded by his son Luis who developed the circular courtyard; the works were abandoned for 15 years owing to the rebellion of the Moors in Granada in 1568.
In 1619 the construction of the high colonnade of the courtyard was completed and the works continued until they were definitively abandoned in 1637, leaving the roof unfinished.
When Philip IV visited Granada in 1628 he could not stay at the Palace, as it was not inhabitable after 90 years of works. The Palace remained unfinished until Leopoldo Torres Balbas devised a plan to recover the building in 1923.
In the formal design of the Palace there was a strong intention of expressing a “Roman-like” architecture through the originality of the ground plant design, a circle enclosed in a square, and the use of the Renaissance architectural language.
Noteworthy in the general design is the use of the octagonally shaped chapel, a geometrical shape that can be considered the second core structure of the Palace, and which was very popular in the Renaissance.
The Festival of Music and Dance of Granada in 1952 provided an impetus to the building of a theatre in the historical-artistic monuments complex.
The soultana’s court
Called that way after being regarded stage of imaginary love legends, fictionalized in the writings of Ginés Pérez de Hita.
The court of the main canal
Also known as "Court of the River", it's a narrow and long space.
The promenade of the cypress trees
Following the Promenade of the Oleander, the Promenade of the Cypress Trees takes the visitor to the place of exit.
Walk of the Oleanders
The Promenade of the Oleanders is connected to the Promenade of the Cypress Trees.
The Romantic Observation point
The top gallery has historic windows geminated of pointed arches.