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.



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


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

ehsan sharei (8 months ago)
Don't miss the opportunity to visit this magnificent place. Whery nice architecture and gardens. The audio guide is playable with cell phone and is very informative. You also have a nice panoramic view to jerez and around the city.
Danna B (8 months ago)
Jerez is not a tourist-y city at all: while there are some foreign tourists and the receptionists in both the Alcazar and the Cathedral spoke English very well, public transport is excellent but be prepared for drivers that don't speak a word of English and incorrect routes on the signs in the bus stops, so be sure to ask the driver if he arrives in your destination. We were not particularly interested in visiting the Alcazar or the Cathedral and there's not much else to do or see in Jerez. It's not the greatest city to stroll around in a pleasant day but it's okay as a layover.
Howard N Hughes (9 months ago)
Go! It's not expensive (especially if you are over 65) & totally worth it. From the top of the square tower you get a fantastic view of the city. Other things to see are both very informative & some are quite magical...
Mico Milanovic (9 months ago)
I was surprised by this little gem because I had not heard much about it before. You can wander freely and get a good feeling of what the citadel was like during the Arab period.
Bull Dogg (12 months ago)
Fantastic historical site in the middle of Jerez. We visited in January and the place was empty. We enjoyed this as much as our visit to Grenada, especially considering the few visitors in Jerez. The entrance fee is only €5 and you can spend a good hour on the grounds. The history of the place is extremely interesting so we recommend reading up ahead of time.
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La Iruela Castle

The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.

The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.

There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.

In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.

After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.


The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.

Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.

Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.

Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.