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Alcazaba is a word that appears in many tourist guides describing the monuments of the Iberian Peninsula. For many people, this is misleading, because this name is often attributed to a specific monument, such as the Alcazaba in Granada, Malaga, or Almeria..., but "Alcazaba" is a Spanish word that refers to a type of fortress or citadel that was built in medieval times, especially on the Iberian Peninsula during the Muslim rule.

It comes from the Arabic word "al-qasbah", which simply means fortress. These fortresses were often built on hills and were characterized by thick walls, towers, and other defensive structures. They served as military bases and government centers for the ruling Muslim emirs, so they also functioned as palaces.



In this article, you will find a description of the characteristic Alcazaba in Malaga, which is impossible to miss when arriving in the city.

I have briefly described the history of Malaga in another article CLICK HERE, so I will not repeat myself, but to organize things, I will list a few of the most important and interesting facts about the fortress in Malaga, which is worth spending more time on, among other things, because it is one of the best-preserved examples of Moorish military architecture in Spain.

  • The Alcazaba in Malaga was built in the 11th century by the Moors, on the site of a former Roman fortress, and construction materials from the neighboring Teatro Romano, a Roman theater located just below the fortress walls, were used for its construction.

  • It was connected by a wall to the castle of Gibralfaro, located slightly higher up the hill, which allowed for easy communication and defense.

  • The fortress architects, in designing its defensive character, wanted to ensure that it would be an "impregnable" object. Therefore, the Alcazaba was equipped with three successive enclosures, one inside the other. So in case the enemy managed to get through the first corridors, they would still have to get through two more zones, which was not an easy task. Moreover, the fortress was so well thought out that even if the enemy reached the command center, they would find no one there, as the inhabitants and commanders could leave the fortress through a hidden corridor. This construction model made the building considered to have the best defensive system of its time!

  • One of the biggest and most closely guarded secrets of the residents of Alcazaba was the Airón well. Once a natural water source was discovered beneath the fortress. To access it, a 40-meter well was carved out of the rocks. Of course, everything was excavated without the use of complicated equipment, but the sacrifice was worth it because since the water wheel was put into operation, the residents no longer had to worry about a lack of clean water, which was also important in the event of a siege.
  • Within its walls, there are beautiful gardens, courtyards, and fountains that were added in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • The building has been the backdrop for many films, including Lawrence of Arabia, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Game of Thrones.
  • As is customary for old fortresses and castles, the Alcazaba of Malaga supposedly hosts ghosts... I have read several legends associated with this place, but they sound crazy that I won't delve into that topic ;)

For those interested in history, I recommend visiting the nearby Archaeological Museum of Malaga (Museo de Malaga), where artifacts from the rich history of the region are on display. Official website: CLICK HERE

Official Alcazaba website: CLICK HERE

Tickets can be purchased on-site from a vending machine. Prices: LINK

PS: I would be grateful if you could follow the page on Facebook, give a like here and there, thank you in advance ;)

Un Saludo:)!

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About the Author

Dora Mandora - passionate about technology, photography, travel, sport and healthy living. Professionally: web & graphic designer and photographer. With camera in hand explores the Iberian Peninsula's southern reaches.


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