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.
It was the residential area of the royal guard in charge of the security of the palatial cityMORE INFORMATION
The baths being essential Moorish urban elements, it is easy to understand why each palace in the Alhambra has its own baths.MORE INFORMATION
Tower of the candle
The Candle's Tower, named Major tower in nasrid times and Sun's gate during the s.XVI as it reflects the sun in the front wall at midday, working as a sun clock for the city.MORE INFORMATION
The chamber of the ambassadors
This throne room is the largest lounge of the compound, encircled by nine small bedchambers, reserved one of them for the sultanMORE INFORMATION
The hall of the kings
Five bedchambers round a large room, scenery of receptions and festive representations, their painted domes are the most characteristic element.MORE INFORMATION
The hall of the muqarnas
One of the halls of the Court of the Lions, must have served as a hall for its proximity to the entrance of the palace.MORE INFORMATION