Álora's castle was first built by the Phoenicians and subsequently expanded under Roman rule. In the 5th century the castle was destroyed by the Visigoths.
The present Álora Castle was built in the 9th century by the Moorish state of Córdoba during a campaign against the Mozarabic rebel leader Umar ibn Hafsun. Later modifications in the 10th century added two enclosures. The inner enclosure was square and used as a fortress. The outer enclosure, with several towers, covered a large area of the perimeter of the hill.
During the 17th century the parish church was built on the old mosque inside Álora Castle also using one of the castle towers. The castle was damaged by the earthquake of 1680 and since then was also used as the village cemetery. The church tower still shows several bullet holes made by a squadron of French cavalry in August 1823.
From the castle you can enjoy breathtaking views of the fertile Guadalhorce Valley and the town of Álora.
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.