Alcazar of Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

The Alcazar of Jerez de la Frontera is a former Moorish alcázar, now housing a park. A first fortress was probably built in the 11th century, when Jerez was part of the small kingdom of the taifa of Arcos de la Frontera, on a site settled since prehistoric times in the south-eastern corner of the city. In the 12th century, a new structure was erected to be used as both residence and fortress by the Almohad rulers of southern Spain. Later, after the Reconquista of Andalusia, it was the seat of the first Christian mayors.

Its various parts, which have been magnificently restored, include the Christianised Mosque dedicated to Santa María la Real, the Arabic Baths, the Oil Mill and the beautiful gardens.

The Dark Chamber is located in the tower of Villavicencio Palace (17th-18th centuries) in the Fortress, the oldest monument in this city. The visit includes a ticket for two exhibitions. The first one is about the dark chambers in the world. The second one is a themed exhibition about Jerez, explained by a guide who stands out the most important monuments.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Spain

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

acacia reiche (2 years ago)
Very cute space, lots to see. Not ideal if you have a stroller to go up the wall.
John Hammond (2 years ago)
Well worth €5 to pass an hour or two. Camera obscurer wasn't working when we visited in September 2019. Some interesting stuff with most explanations in English.
Rob C (2 years ago)
10 stars out of five A small Alcazar (compared to others) but uncrowded and well kept. Loved it. The signage could do with enhancing, but a minor quibble. Loved it.
Gary Winch (2 years ago)
Interesting Alcazar that had been well preserved and renovated. Obviously not on the same scale as the offerings in Granada and Seville but at only €5 entry it's well worth a visit. In a town short on visitor attractions you will have time if you spend a day or two here.
Olga Mielczarek (2 years ago)
A great little Alcazar. It was almost empty when we went there. Possibly due to no 'entrance' sign. I'm sure they would attract more passing by tourists if they had a clear entrance sign. Otherwise it was excellent. The map was very helpful and the descriptions in English were some of the best on our trip. Highly recommended.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.