Plaza de las Armas

Castle in Granada

Plaza de las Armas or the Arms Square was the original entrance and the central square in the Alcazaba in Granada. The short walls you can see are actually the foundations of the buildings that used to be here. The area was called Barrio Castrense or Military Quarters of the Castle.

What can you see in the Plaza de las Armas

This whole set was made up of houses and also canteens, shoe stores, armories, etc., which were at the service of the entire garrison. From among the foundations we can identify a number of different buildings and their uses.

  • On the right there was a large rainwater cistern. The cistern would have originally been a rainwater cistern, but in the 17th century it began to receive water from the Alhambra canal.
  • Near the cistern, to the left of the Alcazaba door, there is a bathroom.
  • In the middle of the square and in part of the wall archaeologists have discovered the foundations of several Arab houses, which were the dwellings of the civil population who worked at the service of the dignitaries and military people who were there.
  • We can also find, of course, a large dungeon almost at the foot of the Torre Quebrada or Broken Tower.
  • The houses on the left which is attached to the north wall would be for the most veteran officers and soldiers.
  • The soldiers would probably live in barracks, on the right.

Where does the name Plaza de Armas come from?

This is a common name for squares in most cities constructed by the Spanish conquistadores in South America. They would design cities on a standard military grid  similar to the Roman castrum. The middle of city would be left vacant to form the Plaza de Armas. The square would be a refuge in case of an attack upon the city, from which arms would be supplied to the defenders.

The Plaza de las Armas appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Granada!

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Visiting Plaza de las Armas


For opening times of the Plaza de las Armas see Alhambra Opening Times.


The Plaza de las Armas is part of the Alhambra Complex and access it you need to purchase Alhambra Tickets or a Alhambra Guided Tour.

Duration: 10 minutes

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