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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Apr. 6, 2014: The Palace of Charles V

DSC00834Charles V (Carlos to his Spanish subjects and Karl to the subjects of most of the Holy Roman Empire) built this palace in the Alhambra at Granada; he wanted both to show his power and wealth and to put a Christian stamp on the formerly Muslim Alhambra.

DSC00651 Outwardly, it seems a huge building: 63 meters along each side and 17 meters high. Entering the building dispels the idea—what is huge is not the building, but its circular central courtyard. All the rooms of the palace open onto the colonnades of the first or second floor, and all access to the second floor is by staircases set at its edge.


Today, aside from its own role as an exhibit, it houses the Museum of the Alhambra, whose exhibits develop the history of the Alhambra itself, and the Museum of Fine Arts of Granada, which includes extensive information on Granada's hey-day of art in the early 16th century, when art was needed in bulk to Christianize Moorish public buildings and mosques and to decorate the new homes of arriving Castilian nobles.


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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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