Conjunto Monumental de la Alcazaba. printer version

presentación del conjunto: suggested routes

Plano del Conjunto Monumental. Nueva ventana
Plan of the Monumental Ensemble

The Monumental Ensemble of la Alcazaba is currently divided into three enclosures: the first two are of Muslim design, and the third is of Christian origin.

The main door of the Alcazaba, which opens onto a torre albarrana or adelantada (tower separated from main wall of fortification, connected by an arch), leads to the Puerta de la Justicia (Justice Door) through a zigzag ramp of modern construction, protected by the Torre de los Espejos (Mirror Tower).

El First enclosure currently has landscaped gardens, although it was originally an urbanised area. The archaeological excavations carried out at the time that the gardens were redesigned showed that there were two dwelling areas and a cemetery. The only construction which can currently be seen is a cistern and the well of a waterwheel which brought up water from a depth of 70 m.

On the Eastern side, the Baluarte del Saliente can be found. This is a good place from which to contemplate the stretch of wall which runs between the basin and the San Cristóbal Hill, constructed during the reign of Jayran to defend the new areas of the city. From here, you can go up alongside the North wall, to the raised area of the Muro de la Vela, which separates the first and second enclosures and on which there is a belfry with a bell, cast in 1763, which was used to warn of danger and mark the irrigation shifts of the meadow.

By means of the tower located on the South side of the Muro de la Vela, you can access the Second Enclosure, a fundamental central point in the Alcazaba, which formed a small palatial city with all its rooms. In this enclosure, you can visit: a cistern from the caliphate period (10th century) and the Mudejar chapel of San Juan, which is from the Christian period (16th century), probably built on a former mosque. In front of this, two Muslim houses were reconstructed in the 1970s. The public baths attached to the North wall consist of three vaulted buildings and a front hall.

In the Casa del Alcaide, the service area is currently located (toilets, a bar and shop). This is a beautiful building with columns and wonderful views of the basin, built in the 1950s, following the model of the Alhambra. The tour continues through the area where the palace is located, separated by a thick wall from the other buildings, in which there used to be a public area, where the government carried out their functions, and a private area which was the King''s dwelling. To the north of the palatial area, an additional tower was built in the 13th century, the remains of which are of special note in the ensemble: the \"Mirador de la Odalisca (the Mirador of the Odalisque)\", the scene of a beautiful legend.

Having passed the moat at the entrance, we come to the Third enclosure, a true castle which was accessed by a lowered bridge. The inside is organised around the parade ground, in the centre of which there is a cistern and silo which was sometimes used as a dungeon. To the right, the Torre del Homenaje (Keep) dominates, after which you come to the Noria and Pólvora towers, with excellent views of the port and several pieces of ancient artillery. The Keep has a gothic facade with a heraldic shield of the Catholic Monarchs. Its inside reflects its original function as a dwelling. It is currently used as an exhibition hall in which photographs from the Centro Andaluz de la Fotografia are displayed. From the parade ground viewpoint in the third enclosure, the port and former city can be seen, in addition to some beautiful sunsets, and as a result it is not difficult to imagine what the medieval city was like from there.