Málaga, Spain

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.



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


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mike ORiordan (4 months ago)
Very enjoyable visit for just €3.50 with a QR code on display inside the entrance you can access the multilingual audio tour, this makes for an easy 1 hour 30 mins self guided tour of one of Málaga’s dominant historical structures. Free Audio tour is a must to enhance your visit all Complimented by great views of the city and port.
Lawrence Baca (5 months ago)
Very interesting palace/fortification built in the years of Muslim occupation in Spain. The beautiful architecture and gardens are well worth the visit. The admission price is insignificant compared to the sights to be seen. Excellently maintained but there is only so much that can be done for accessibility. Lots of steps and some are steep to see everything. Ramp and/or elevator at both entrances.
Mishkaah G (5 months ago)
Gorgeous and inexpensive, but a challenging/steep walk and loads of steps. Thought I wouldn't make it up in the sweltering heat ? Wear comfy shoes. Remarkable views of Malaga so it's definitely worthwhile.
Jude Platton (6 months ago)
Very fun place to visit and less busy than expected. Very peaceful place with good views for those who don't want to climb up to the castle (Very tiring in the heat). Price of entry (2,50 € for both venues for students) was an absolute bargain.
Liwia Szczęsna (6 months ago)
The Alcazaba Castle is stunning, it is located in the historic centre of Málaga and you can feel the history that took place there as you walk on the same paths as people hundred years ago. It is well preserved and you can see whole city from the top of the castle. It is one of the most known tourist attractions in the city, but for a reason. I recommend reading a little bit before you go there so when you are actually there you can imagine all the history that took place there as you walk. I love the architecture of the place and have good memories from there.
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