In 955, Almería gained the title of medina ('city') by the Caliph of Cordoba, Abd ar-Rahman III: construction of the defensive citadel, located in the upper sector of the city, began in this period. The alcazaba, provided not only with walls and towers but also with squares, houses and a mosque, was to be also the seat of the local government, commanding the city and the sea nearby.
The complex was enlarged under caliph Al-Mansur and, later, under Al-Jairan, first king of the independent taifa of Almería (1012–1028).
The first line of walls is a wide enclosure corresponding to the first Muslim military camp, used as shelter for the population in case of siege. For this task it was provided with large cisterns.
The first enclosure is separated by the second one by the so-called Muro de la Vela ('Wall of the Sail'), taking its name from a bell that warned the population in case of events such as the arrival of a ship in the port, danger, fires etc. This wall was built by King Charles III of Spain.
In the second enclosure was the residence for the governors, their soldiers and their servants. It included also the mosque, baths, tanks, tents etc.
The third enclosure, the most external, is also the most modern in the complex. After the Christian conquest of Almería, the Catholic monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon had a castle built in the most elevated sector of the town, more apt to resist the new gunpowder artillery.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.