Castle in Granada

The Alcazaba is a Moorish fortification withing the Alhambra Complex in Grenada, Spain.

Within the limits of Alhambra is the Alcazaba, a walled fortification meant for the rulers and their subjects. According to some sources, Alhambra’s Alcazaba was said to be built around the 11th century. This later became the last Moorish stronghold of Al-Andalus, and as such, is at the center of historical attention.

History of Alcazaba

The Alcazaba, a fortress, is one of the oldest part of the Alhambra. It is thought that before it was built and before the Muslims arrived to Granada, there were already several constructions in the same area. Its first historical reference dates from the 9th century and it is believed that it was then built by Sawwar ben Hamdun during the fights between Muslims and muwalladins, who were  Christians who had converted to the Islam and lived among the Muslims.

The current complex was built by Mohammed I, who constructed the ramparts around the previous castle, defenses and three new towers: Torre Quebrada or The Broken Tower, the Torre del Homenaje or Keep and the Torre de la Vela or Watch Tower. As a consequence, the Alcazaba became a real fortress, where the king established the royal residence. His son Mohammed II also had his residence in the Alcazaba, until the palaces were finished. After the palaces were completed, the Alcazaba was used exclusively for military purposes.

When the Christians subsequently took over, they carried out restorative work on the structure. For long periods of time, including during the French occupation. the castle was State prison. Since then, until the late 19th century, the Alcazaba lay unattended. It was restored during the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Where does the name Alcazaba come from?

The word derives from the Arabic word al-qasbah, a walled-fortification in a city.

Where is the Alcazaba located?

The Alcazaba is located to the west of the Plaza de Los Aljibes and the Puerta del Vino.

The Alcazaba appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Granada!

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Visiting Alcazaba

Address: Alcazaba 18009 Granada Spain
Telephone: +34 858 95 36 16
Duration: 20 minutes

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Tours and Activities from Granada