Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful skylines of the city of Malaga can be observed from the its coast and where its impressive Alcazaba stands out, a palace fortress which is an Arab word for citadel. It is one of the most visited historical landmarks in the city and which perfectly blends the military elements with the beauty of its buildings.
Malaga’s Alcazaba is situated at the foot of Mount Gibralfaro in a rocky terrain that has influenced the irregularity of its construction, raising the walls in order to fulfil its defensive function against invasion, as it served as the seat of government and kingdoms.
There is a controversy regarding its origin, as it is believed to have been built between 1057 and 1063 under King Badis ben Habus rule, the Taifa of the Kingdom of Granada. However, there are several documents that prove that Badis ordered a complete refurbishment and expansion of an earlier building of Roman origin.
In any case, what is certain is that the Citadel has remained as an important landmark and has gone through different stages throughout time. Between the tenth and fifteenth centuries it was under of Arab rule, which is reflected in the architecture of many of its spaces. In 1102 it was conquered by the Almoravids and in 1146 it is passed to the Almohades, until in 1279 it is conquered by Ben Muhammad II al-Ahmar and is part of the Nazarite kingdom.
Later, during the Reconquista, Ferdinand the Catholic will conquer this powerful Muslim stronghold to gain possession of the Alcazaba. Centuries later, it begins a process of deterioration and abandonment, especially in its military structure, which lasted until the early twentieth century. But in the 1920s the buildings underwent a process of refurbishment after being declared a World Heritage Site.
At present, the Alcazaba occupies a perimeter of 15,000 square meters, even though it is thought that in the past it was at least twice the size. Its architecture is a mixture of defensive fortifications with other spaces of great beauty, such as its chambers and gardens. Special mention for the military fortifications, including the three walls that surround it and constituted one of the largest fortresses in Spain.
The Alcazaba is also next to the Roman Theater, one of the most important historical heritage sites in Malaga, and it is also next to the city centre, making it very convenient and accessible to visit.
If you are planning on visiting Malaga’s Alcazaba, we recommend that you stay at the Petit Palace Plaza Malaga hotel, which is located in the historic centre of the city, from where you can comfortably visit the main tourist attractions, such as Malaga’s Cathedral or the Constitution Square.