Alcazaba

sights / Military

Alcazaba information

Location
Costa de Almería , Spain
Address
Calle Almanzor
Prices
adult/EU citizen €1.50/free
Opening hours
9am-8.30pm Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun Apr-Oct, to 6.30pm Tue-Sun Nov-Mar
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A looming fortification with great curtain-like walls rising from the cliffs, the Alcazaba was built in the 10th century by Abd ar-Rahman III, the greatest caliphate of Al-Andalus, and was the most powerful Moorish fortress in Spain. It lacks the intricate decoration of Granada's Alhambra, but it is nonetheless a compelling monument; allow a couple of hours to see everything.

Passing through a grand horseshoe arch, the interior is divided into three distinct sections. The lowest area, the Primer Recinto , was the civic centre, with houses, baths and other necessities – now replaced by lush gardens and water channels. From the battlements you can see the Muralla de Jayrán , a fortified wall built in the 11th century, as well as stunning city and coastal views.

In the Segundo Recinto you’ll find the ruins of the Muslim rulers’ palace, built by Almotacín (r 1051–91), under whom medieval Almería reached its peak. Within the compound is a chapel, the Ermita de San Juan , once a mosque. The highest part, the Tercer Recinto , is a fortress added by the Catholic monarchs. Its keep is used as a gallery for painting, photography (and similar) exhibitions.