Palacio de Carlos V

Museum and Palace in Granada

Patio Palacio Carlos V In Alhambra
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Ra-smit

The Palacio de Carlos V or Palace of Charles V is a Renaissance building in the Alhambra Complex, in Granada, Spain.. The structure was commanded to be built by Charles V (1500–1558), Holy Roman Emperor, who also was the  King of Spain (Castile and Aragon) from 1516. He wanted to to establish his residence close to the Alhambra palaces. it is the finest example of High Renaissance architecture in Spain.

This huge Renaissance palace clashes spectacularly with the style of its surroundings on the Alhambra.This circle inside a square is the only Spanish example of a Renaissance ground plan symbolizing the unity of earth and heaven.

What does the Palacio de Carlos V look like?

This massive square structure is 63 meters square and 17 meters high and though its construction remains incomplete to date, it is grandiose in every way. The Palace flaunts an extravagant facade and an impressive inner courtyard with a pillared two-story rotunda of Doric columns in the lower gallery and Ionic columns in the upper gallery. Its has a circular patio which is unique and it is the most important building of Renaissance style in Spain. Its main western facade features three porticoes divided by pairs of fluted columns, with bas-relief battle carvings at their feet. While the building is square but contains a two-tiered circular courtyard with 32 columns.

The western entrance was created between 1551 and 1563 in grey stone from Sierra Elvira with a large door that was finished with winged victories. The lateral pedestals are symmetrical, representing war scenes, with soldiers and arms. The central pedestal represents the triumph of peace, symbolized by two women sitting on the arms which are burning two spirits. The women are between the Pillars of Hercules and they are accompanied by the globe of the world with the imperial crown. There are medallions on the falcons in white marble where Hercules is represented killing the lion of Nemea, in the middle of the Spanish Coat of Arms, and Hercules with the Cretan Bull.

The southern door was done between 1536 and 1554 and is also made of grey stone from Sierra Elvira. The lower part has four pillars from the Ionic order, finished with an entablature with the inscription: “Imp.Caes.Kar.V.P.V.”  (Emperor and Caesar Charles V. Plus Ultra).

The iconology on these façades praise the victories of Charles V:  on the western one, the land victory in the battle of Pavia over Francis I of France, and on southern one, the sea victory in the battle of Tunis over Berber pirates.

On the northern side there is a small façade with the inscription “Imp.Caes.Karolo V”

Placed up high in the circular courtyard that surrounds the lower gallery made with large Tuscan Order pillars with stone from Turro (Loja), while higher up the gallery has Corinthian order pillars.

The Renaissance and Arabic palaces are so integrated that only the large façades on the western and southern sides are worked, and it is also on these façades where the rings are found for tying horses above the continuous bench for mounting and dismounting. The rings have an eagle in the corners, and lions on the rest of the façade.

History of the Palacio de Carlos V

The palace was begun to be built in 1527 by Pedro Machuca, who was an architect from Toledo who had studied under Michelangelo. Machuca died in 1550 just before finishing and and his son Luis took.  The building was financed by taxes on Granada’s morisco or converted Muslim population. When the moriscos rebelled in 1568, funds became scarce and the palace remained roofless until the early 20th century.

Where is the Palacio de Carlos V

The Palacio de Carlos V is located within the Alhambra complex, the palace’s northeast corner is adjacent to the Court of the Lions and the Court of the Myrtles.

Other names of the Palacio de Carlos V

The palace is also called Palacio de Carlos Quinto as Quinto is five in spainish, but its official name is the Casa Real de la Alhambra – the Royal Manor of the Alhambra.

What to see in the Palacio de Carlos V

The Palacio de Carlos V appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Granada!

This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you!

Visiting Palacio de Carlos V


8.30am-8pm Apr–mid-Oct, to 6pm mid-Oct–Mar, night visits 10-11.30pm Tue-Sat Apr–mid-Oct, 8-9.30pm Fri & Sat mid-Oct–Mar


Access to the Palacio de Carlos V is free via the Puerta de la Justicia on the southern side of the Alhambra.

Address: Palacio de Carlos V, Calle Real de la Alhambra, Granada, Spain
Telephone: +34 958 02 79 71
Duration: 1 hours

Nearby Attractions