La Alcazaba is Malaga's most important landmark, and overlooks the city from a hilltop inland. It is one of two Moorish fortresses in the city, the other being the Castillo de Gibralfaro. The Alcazaba is the best-preserved Moorish fortress palace in Spain.

Constructed on the ruins of a Roman fortification during the reign of Abd-al-Rahman I, the first Emir of Cordoba, in around 756-780 AD, the Alcazaba's original purpose was as a defence against pirates, thanks its commanding position with views over the city, down to the sea and across to Africa.

The fortress was rebuilt by the Sultan of Granada, Badis Al-Ziri, from 1057-1063 AD, while the fortified double walls that connect the Alcazaba to the neighbouring Castillo de Gibralfaro, over the Coracha ridge, were built by the Nasrid ruler Yusuf I in the 14th century, when most of the inner palace was also refurbished. As a palace, it was home to a number of Moorish rulers.

Ferdinand and Isabella captured Málaga from the Moors after the Siege of Málaga (1487), one of the longest sieges in the Reconquista, and raised their standard at the Torre del Homenaje in the inner citadel.

The Alcazaba has a distinct feel from its more famous, younger neighbours, the Alcazar of Sevilla and the Alhambra of Granada. It was already three centuries old when the others were build. After the reconquest, it fell into decay until restoration work began in 1933, and continues slowly today. Two of its original three walls remain, as well as over 100 towers and three palaces.

It was restored several times and most recently in the 20th century, and today the building and its important archaeological legacy can be visited. Remains of the Roman walls lined with red stucco appeared and small cisterns carved into the slate and used for making garum (the fish paste made by the Romans)  were found during the first archaeological dig. There is also a dungeon where Christian slave girls were locked after working during the day.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details

Founded: 756-780 AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jonathan Sabie (13 months ago)
Cool old fortress/palace. I'm used to seeing the standard northern European castles, but this one was more of a Spanish type, I really liked the design. It had a few small gardens and water features too. Fyi, above this palace is another more traditional and basic castle you can walk up to. If you buy the combo ticket you can see both.
Haneen Abbas (13 months ago)
It was beautiful. A very spacious castle dating back to roughly the 11th century with a mixture of Arab and Roman history. The castle itself took about 2 hours to walk around and admire. Totally recommend
Brendan McCabe (13 months ago)
Yes. The very best of fresh food. This is cooked to perfection. We dined in the garden patio area. 28degrees at 8.00pm. If you are looking to dine on a Saturday night please book.
Lee Retter (13 months ago)
Great service on booking from reception. Spacious dormitory. Lovely views. Couple of bars n restaurants. V economical. Great place to stay. Recommend u book direct for best price
Mark Storey (14 months ago)
There are some nice views over the city and it is a relaxing place to wander round. Get the lift up if you don't fancy the walk though it isn't a difficult one or if it is really hot. If you do get the lift make sure you don't miss some of the gardens which are on the way up. Nowhere near as nice as in Granada but a good way to pass a couple of hours.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.