The Alhambra and Generalife
The first vestige for the palace of the Alhambra go back to 9th century, a hundred years alter the Muslims arrived to the peninsula. However, the greatest buildings of the Alhambra and its gardens (The Generalife) belong to the Nazarí epoch (12th century), and Carlos V reign (16th century).
The entire set of buildings that make up the Alhambra and especially its palaces were built with the aim to reach perfection as described either by the dominant trend of the Coram or the neoplatonian style of the renaissance. The Patio de los Leones (Patio of the Lions) was a Muslim work thought to be built according to the typical structure of a monastic cloister, which is one of the most widely used in classic architecture. The Alhambra was built to show domination, power and beauty all at the same time. From its battlements, the entire city can be seen. From Granada, the Alhambra rises up on top of a red hill as a symbol of greatness of the rulers that lived there, as the place on earth that resembles the paradise that Islam promises to its faithful believers. That is why the Alhambra was Acropolis and paradise all at once.
Carlos V also wanted to show his power and he succeeded by building his palace in the area of the Alhambra. It is a square- shaped building with its corners pointing to the four cardinal points symbolizing his earthly power as he ruled over lands almost everywhere on the Earth, from the Philippines to America and all over Europe. The central circle- shaped patio symbolizes the divine perfection since it represents the cuadrature of a circle.