The Emperor’s Study

Yes, Charles the First of Spain, who was also Charles the Fifth of the Holy Roman Empire, discovered that Granada had a grand, refined and exquisite history. The most powerful man of his time, the grandson of the king and queen who conquered Granada, Charles had, in turn, been conquered by the Alhambra. He wanted to rule the world in peace, far from the power intrigues with which he was so familiar. He came to live here in 1526, accompanied by his wife Isabel of Portugal and their numerous courtiers.

He lived here in these rooms while the Neo-Classical palace he ordered to be built in these grounds was being finished. He never actually lived there, however. You can see that his study, despite having been fitted out for an Emperor, is designed in the sober and austere style typical of Castile.

Have you noticed the detailing on the coat of arms above the fireplace? Go over to it, habibi. Can you see the coat of arms? See the crown above the two- headed eagle, with two columns on either side of it, bearing the imperial motto, “Plus Ultra”. They say that the symbol for the US dollar came from this column on the Spanish coat of arms! I heard this from a scholar whose name I have forgotten. I don’t know if it is true though!

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Carlos Madrid (2012)

Source: Own work
Author: Julián Hernández Martínez (2013)