The city of Granada is located near the southern tip of Spain, on the hills at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. An important city during the period of Umayyad rule (756-1031 AD) and under the Almohad and Almoravid dynasties of the twelfth and thirteenth-centuries, Granada is most famous for the palaces within the palatine city of the Alhambra.
Founded by Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr, who escaped to Granada after the Castilian conquest of his native Zaragoza, Granada was the capital of the Nasrid Sultanate, and as such became the last Islamic kingdom of the Iberian Peninsula following the Castilian conquest of al-Andalus in the thirteenth-century.
The medieval city was composed of separate quarters, each with its own mosques and baths. Granada's suburbs developed along the banks of the Darro River, on the plain and hills below the Alhambra. The government functions of the Nasrid rulers were concentrated in the Alhambra, while commercial, religious, and civic institutions were concentrated in Granada proper.
The Albaicín, a walled suburb on the hill opposite that of the Alhambra, is the best-preserved section of the medieval city, but retains only a fraction of the mosques and celebrated courtyard houses that once existed there.
Dickie, James. 1992. "Granada: A Case Study of Arab Urbanism in Muslim Spain." In The Legacy of Muslim Spain, edited by S. K. Jayyusi and M. Marín. Leiden ; New York: E.J. Brill, 88-111.
Hermann, Elizabeth Dean. 1996. Urban formation and landscape: symbol and agent of social, political and environmental change in fifteenth-century Nasrid Granada. Harvard Univ.: PhD. Dissertation.
"Gharnata." In Encyclopedia of Islam. 2nd ed.
"Nasrids." In Encyclopedia of Islam. 2nd ed.
Roca Roumens, M., Moreno Onorato, M. A. & Lizcano Prestel, R. 1988. El Albaicín y los orígenes de la ciudad de Granada. Granada: Universidad de Granada.
The Palace of Charles V was designed by the Spanish architect Pedro Machuca in 1528 and was begun in 1533, but was never completed. Located within the Alhambra complex, the palace's northeast corner abuts the Court of the Lions and the Court of the Myrtles.
The palace, whose construction necessitated some destruction to the Nasrid palaces and cemeteries, has a strict geometric plan, with a circular courtyard inscribed within the square block containing the various rooms. The plan, façades, and ornamental program of the palace draw from the High Renaissance style practiced by Raphael and other architects in Rome.
The striking juxtaposition of the massive, formal High Renaissance palace and the delicate refinements of the Nasrid palaces creates a complex dialogue about the appropriation of monuments and the relationship between architecture and cultural and political identities.
Rosenthal, Earl E. c. 1985. The palace of Charles V in Granada. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press.
Bermudez Pareja, Jesus. 1971. The palace of Carlos V. Granada : Albaicin-Sadea.