Alhambra tickets Palacio Carlos V

Palacio Carlos V or the Palace of Charles V Alhambra celebrates the victory of Christianity over the Islamic empire.

Designed by the famous Spanish architect Pedro Machuca, its work started in 1527.

Machuca, having studied in Italy and trained by Michelangelo, adopted the Renaissance style in the Palace of Charles V architecture quite explicitly.

His inventiveness and inclination made him develop the new mannerist trail in Spain.

King Charles never wanted Granada to be his capital while traveling across Europe.

He planned to have a royal residence in the soil that his ancestors conquered.

The King ordered the construction of the Palace of Charles V Alhambra next to the Nasrid Palaces – one, to enjoy its wonders, and second, to establish supremacy over the ruins of their defeated enemy.

Famous for its proportion and purity, the Alhambra Palace of Charles V stands with two floors and four facades.

The Story behind its Construction

The Palace of Charles V history speaks of King Charles’ admiration for the Nasrid monuments.

It inspired the Christian king to construct the new palace.

After marrying Isabel of Portugal in Seville in 1526, King Charles V intended to make his residence in Alhambra, Granada.

The Palace of Charles V floor plan made a place for having all the comforts of the time for him and his family.

The King ordered the conservation of the indisputable beauty of the Nasrid palace complex.

While his absolute respect for the Arab palaces remained, he ordered the new construction at one end of the Palace of the Comares. 

The Palace of Charles V architecture detached from unnecessary decorative elements that could distract attention from the Nasrid palaces.

Palace Architecture

Built as a two-storied square structure, the Palacio Carlos V supports a circular central courtyard with pillars.

Its main façade measures 63 meters (206.6 feet) in width and 17 meters (55.7 feet) in height. 

The “Roman-like” Renaissance architecture is visible through the circular courtyard of the Palace of Charles V enclosed in a square.

The southern and western façades remain completely decorated. 

The northern and eastern sides remain less decorated for their connection to the Nasrid palace in the Alhambra complex.

The ceiling, staircases, and upper gallery consist of simple stone walls with minimal designs.

Stairs from inside the building lead to the courtyard.

On the exterior of the west facade, the reliefs display scenes of war and life.

The exterior view of the fountain displays angels, a typical Renaissance figure found in all contemporary paintings and sculptures.

Another popular Renaissance feature in the Palace of Charles V interior includes the octagonally-shaped chapel. 

Few chief attractions while visiting the Palacio Carlos V, Granada:

Courtyard of the Palace

The courtyard of the Palace of Charles V measures 30 meters in diameter surrounded by a wide portico with 32 Doric columns.

Few facts about the patio of the Palace of Charles V include:

  • A unique Renaissance-style design in Spain for its square building with a circular patio.
  • The columns of stone correspond to pilasters that decorate the wall of the corridors.
  • The arches and doors connect with the various units of the building with stairs. 
  • A similar design covers the second story of the palace with Ionic pillars supporting the horizontally placed Elvira stone.

Justice Tower

The Justice Tower goes by many names, such as Torre de la Justicia, Gate of Justice, Esplanade’s Gate, etc.

The Gate of Justice belongs to the Justice Tower and stands next to the Charles V Pillar.

Also known as the Esplanade Gate because of the wide open space before it. 

This majestic structure presides over the entire area and serves as one of the primary entrances to Alhambra.

The tower’s gate forms a horseshoe arch with vaults, marble carvings, and vegetal forms.

Arabic inscriptions of the Holy Koran exist in parallel with a sculpture of the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus.

This signifies the Christian conquest of the Islamic sultans.

A brief ascent from the tower leads to the Gate of Wine and the Square of the Cisterns.

Square of the Cisterns

During the 1955 excavations, the archeologists discovered the Square of the Cisterns.

Situated between the Alcazaba and the palaces, the square forms a vast esplanade between the towers and the defense area.

The cisterns measure 34 meters long, 6 meters wide and 8 meters high.

It supplied water to the city and the complex.

From the square of the Palace of Charles V Alhambra, visitors may enjoy the marvelous sights of the city, the Albaicin, and the Sacromonte.

The Gate of Wine 

One of the oldest constructions in the Alhambra Fort, the Gate of Wine serves as the main entrance gate to the Medina of the Alhambra.

It encloses the residential and artisan district within the walled fortress.

Being an inner gate, it provided direct access to the fortress.

The decoration and building of  the Gate pertain to the different periods of rulers and their tastes.

The pointed horseshoe arch with brickwork and twin balconies reminds of the Nasrid kings.

Today it stands isolated within the Square of the Cisterns as an emblem of periodic rule.

Rooms of the Palace

The Palace of Charles V interior consisted of six “new rooms”, comprising an “imperial suite”.

Built on the Muslim palatial grounds, it included corridors leading to the rooms.

The Bath of Comares got transformed into an entranceway later.

Behind the corridor lies the Emperor’s office with a fireplace and coffered ceiling as part of the Palace of Charles V floor plan.

A hallway behind the Emperor’s office led to the bedrooms of the Emperor and the Empress.

Inside the Palacio Carlos V,  the “Halls of Fruit” referred to the ceiling decoration done by Julio Aquiles and Alejandro Mayner.

The Queen’s Robing Room

The hallway of the Emperor’s Chambers leads to an open-air gallery.

This opens the view from the Palace of Charles V interior to the Abu-I-Hayyay Tower. 

The Palace of Charles V floor plan conserves an intimate pavilion and a stove.

It replaced the original lantern in the outside gallery as in Italian tradition.

The Court of Machuca

The Palace of Charles V architect Pedro Machuca worked here.

It comprises two circular fountains that pour water into a pitcher-type pool at the center of the patio.

He used this pool, which resembled the Roman altar for water nymphs.

On the sides, small circular fountains pour water inside the pool.

Other buildings around the Palace

Built during King Charles V and his palace surround the palace and fort area.

Pomegranate Gate 

The Renaissance gate replaced Islamic architecture, the remains of which can be seen on the right.

Above the arch the Imperial shield topped by three pomegranates gives it the name.

This leads to the Alhambra woods and surroundings directing to the complex from Granada city.

One road leads to Alcazaba and the other to the southern Alhambra walls.

The Palace of Charles V architect made several reliefs of the Gate of Pomegranate.

Pillar of Charles V

Located parallel to the wall of the Alhambra, under the Gate of Justice is another significant work around the Palacio Carlos V.

A Renaissance fountain symbolizing the rivers of Granada.

Designed and projected by Pedro Machuca, the Italian sculptor Nicolás de Corte executed it in 1545.

Alhambra Museum

Located on the south side of the ground floor of the Alhambra Palace of Charles V, the museum comprises seven halls.

The museum houses exhibits in chronological order in each hall.

Established in 1870 to guard the numerous archaeological testimonies collected. 

Presentation Room

Located on the north facade of the Palacio Carlos V, it displays panels, materials, models and audio-visuals about Alhambra.

Museum of Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Museum occupies the top floor of the Palace of Charles V Alhambra. 

It houses Granadian sculptures and paintings from the 15th to the 20th century. 

Future of the palace

While the construction of the palace began in 1527, it paused due to Machuca’s death in 1550.

Later, numerous architects carried on with the activities but went through several challenges like lack of funds, and rebellion of the Moors that stopped the work.

Certain negligence even led to ceilings collapsing within the Alhambra Palace of Charles V.

After several impediments, some restoration work and the construction of the building ended. 

Receiving complete finance in 1957, the architect Francisco Prieto Moreno completed all the pending works in 1958.

Opening hours of the Palace of Charles V

The Palace of Charles V hours are the same as the general Alhambra timings. Visit the Palace of Charles V as per your choice:

Day Visit:

Months Days Visiting hours
01 April to 14 OctoberMonday to Sunday8.30 am to 8 pm
15 October to 31 MarchMonday to Sunday8.30 am to 6 pm

Night Visit:

VisitDaysVisiting Hours
01 April to 14 OctoberTuesday to Saturday10 pm to 11.30 pm
15 October to 31 MarchFriday and Saturday8 pm to 9.30 pm

Exclusive Visit:

VisitDaysVisiting Hours
01 April to 14 OctoberMonday to Sunday8 pm to 10 pm 
15 October to 31 MarchMonday to Sunday6 pm to 8 pm 

Tickets for Palacio Carlos V

General tickets purchased for Alhambra allow you to visit inside the Palacio Carlos V. 

You get free access to the Alhambra Palace of Charles V through the Gate of Justice.

You can see some really good photos in the official website of Palacio Carlos V to see what awaits you there: 

Ticket TypePrice (starting)
Admission ticket and Time-slot€ 25
Alhambra Guided Tour€ 41
Alhambra Premium Guided Tour€ 65
Night Visit to the Palaces€ 16

Palacio Carlos V FAQs

Palacio Carlos V FAQs

What is the reason for building the Palace of Charles V Alhambra?

The Catholic King Charles V ordered the construction of the palace.

While touring the whole of Europe, the Nasrid architecture in Granada, Spain mesmerized him.

As a remembrance of his ancestors’ conquest, he built the palace next to the Nasrid monuments.

This Renaissance-style palace attended to the comfort of him and his family.

What all to see in the Palace of Charles V?

The Palace of Charles V interior consists of:
A circular courtyard within the square building
Beautiful Renaissance-style arches, Ionic pillars holding Elvira stone, doors, hallways, Imperial suites and chambers.
Patio and fountains
Alhambra Museum, Fine Arts Museum and Presentation room

Few around the Palace:

Justice Tower
Cistern Square
Wine Gate

Featured Image: Alhambra-Patronato.es

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