A Visit to the Museum of the Alhambra, in Granada

We're back in the Alhambra Palace of Granada, after our visit to the Bellas Artes, this time on the ground floor.  What lies beneath?  At ground level of the Palace of Carlos V you too can discover another treasure trove, as this is the splendid location of the Museum of The Alhambra.

Visiting the museums of Granada are the best way to time-travel.  Take a step inside, and step right back to see and feel life as it was during the colourful history and times of the Alhambra Palace, and the ancient city of Granada.

Alcazaba at the Alhambra

Seven Halls

Seven halls make up the labyrinth of exhibited goods - displayed through what was originally the living quarters of the Holy Roman Emperor. Charles V.

These seven halls contain the best collection of Spanish - Moorish art.

Door Alhambra museum

Hall 1

Science, Faith and Economy.

Step inside to begin your tour and see the ancient sundial showing times for prayer and astrological signs. Spot the arcs denoting the summer and winter solstice times.

Here you will also view illuminated Qur'ans and coins from the 8th century to Nasrid times.


Hall 2

Onto Hall 2 and the theme is Emirate and Caliphate Period.

See decorative items from the period, also column styles, fountains through to colourful luxury household decorative goods.

Admire the style and carving, even on the most simple household items such as stone lamps, made for use with oil.

Hall 3 (A)

Caliphate Architectural Decoration.

The main feature of this room is an Almanzor period fountain, decorated with Deer and Lions.  The fountain represents the importance of water, a constant and important theme in the Islamic period.  See fr yourself as you stroll around the Alhambra how big a part water played in the design of the monument and its gardens.

moorish design

Hall 3 (B)

The second part of this hall is themed as Art from the Taifas and Nasrids.

Admire works in wood and ivory, sumptuously decorated ceramics and bronze household items.  Ivory - rightly abhorred today - was much sought after at the time, and there was a large and important workshop set up in Cuenca.

Hall 4

Nasrid Period - Public Buildings.

There's an intricately carved horse-shoe shaped arch from Granada's Free Hospital.  Made from white marble, the arch fronted the Free Hospital which was erected and financed by Muhammad V.  Also see two fountains of carved lions.

lion museum Alhambra

Hall 5

Nasrid Period - Alhambra and City Palaces.

The most exceptional item - and one singular reason to visit the museum - is the exceptional and infamous Vase of the Gazelles.  Decorated in white, blue and gold, this vase was discovered in the Alhambra in the late 18th century.  By the mid 19th century, it had already become an icon of the resurgence in interest of the Islamic past of Spain.  It became fashionable too - and is responsible for the revival of the production of 'lustre' ceramics.

There's also the set of Doors to the Hall of the Two Sisters.


Hall 6

Nasrid Period - Ceramics.

Behind the Palace of the Lions was originally the site of the Sultans Cemetery.  See the preserved gravestones of two Sultans here, and a range of ornate and heavily decorated ceramics.

Hall 7 (A)

Nasrid Decoration - Household Items.

This Hall is a representation of a palace with ornate household items.  See roof sections, textiles and marquetry, along with children's toys, games and kitchenware.

Hall 7 (B)

This part of Hall 7 is filled with plaster panels, woodwork and tableware from the period.

About the Building

The palace of Charles V was built in the 16th Century in pure Renaissance style by the Toledo born architect Pedro Machuca.  He brought the style from Italy where he had studied with the best of the Italian masters, including one Michaelangelo.

The Palace has an inner circular patio, and two tiers. The design at that time was unique in Renaissance architecture.   The building represents the first major Renaissance style building in all of Spain.  It's also an ideal spot for a 'selfie'!

Palace Carlos V

Opening Times

The Museum of the Alhambra is open all year.

Closed Mondays.

Sundays and Tuesday: 08:30 - 14:30

Wednesday to Saturday: 08:30 - 18:00


*Please note there is no photography allowed inside the museum, these photographs were taken through the windows, with flash disabled.