La Alcazaba de Málaga – Arab fortress and palace

If we had to choose a single attraction in the city, it would surely be the Alcazaba of Malaga. For something it is the most visited monument in the city. A reduced version of the Alhambra in Granada, close in time and space, but with its own personality. Without a doubt, a must visit for everyone traveling to Malaga for the first time.

The construction of this Arab fortress began in the 11th century. At the beginning it was done to defend the city. In those times not against Christians but against Arabs themselves, who ruled in neighboring cities. Hence, many cities around had their own Alcazaba, such as Antequera, Almeria or Granada itself.

alcazaba of malaga
Nasrid palace from the 14th century at the Alcazaba of Malaga

The Alcazaba of Malaga would also house, three centuries later, a Nasrid palace where the major of the city and his family lived. The way in which the Arabs lived here was the envy of the rest of the Muslim world as well as of medieval Europe. Leading technology, some coming from the Roman Empire, made their day-to-day life much more pleasant than any other civilization at that time.

In this building you can admire Islamic decoration, their love for geometry, water and ceramics. You will be able to admire several periods of their art, from the style of Medina Azahara to the later of the Nasrids in Granada.

Beautifully decorated triple arch from Medina Azahara at the Alcazaba of Malaga
Shiny golden ceramic mainly produced in Malaga, as shown in the Alcazaba

But not only does the building itself make this Alcazaba great. The walk through its gardens is a unique pleasure, where you will discover its original irrigation system. The views is another great part of this visit, being able to admire Malaga in all its extension, from El Palo to the east to Torremolinos in the west.

Views from the Alcazaba to the port

Not to be missed is also the history of this building. After the Arabs, the conquest by the Catholic kings, the change to a Christian castle, the defense against Napoleonic troops and finally, its conversion into a neighborhood in the city, the Alcazaba quarter, where the poorest in Malaga lived like squatters.

In addition, it has a historical paradox that can be perfectly contemplated. The use of Corinthian marble columns that come from the same Roman theater. The Arabs found them abandoned and decided to reuse them in their fortress.

alcazaba of malaga
Interior of a room of the Nasrid Palace at the Alcazaba

The Alcazaba of Malaga is the main attraction of our Le Grand tour, where you will discover the stories that this fascinating building hides and you can also live it in 3d thanks to virtual reality glasses, unique experience in Malaga.

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