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The Alcazaba is the best preserved Moorish fortress in Spain. It sits on the hill that overlooks the city of Malaga. It consists of two concentric enclosures, with the outer enclosure being lower than the inner enclosure. The inner enclosure contains 3 palaces. The Moors built this fort over the remains of a Roman fort. There are more than 100 towers in the walls. The Alcazaba now contains the Archaeological Museum of the city. It has beautiful gardens and fountains also.
The first fortress was built in the 8th century but was completely rebuilt in the 11th century for King Badis of Granada. By the entrance to the Alcazaba is a 2nd century Roman theater that is undergoing restoration. The fortress is connected to the Gibralfaro Castle.
The Moorish governors were the ones who occupied the Nazari palace, constructed in the 11th, 13th, and 14th centuries. There are three consecutive patios in the palace. There is a tower called the Maldonado Tower, which has a lookout with a beautiful view of the city below.
The entrance area is close to the Plaza de Aduana and the Roman amphitheatre in Calle Alcabazilla. The gate at the entrance is called the Puerta de la Boveda (Vault Gate). Behind the City Hall there is an elevator that carries one to the fortress. The fortress was cleverly designed because at two gates the path doubles back to make it harder to attack the fortress. In 1487 the fortress was captured after a long siege by the Catholic Kings (Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand). In 1931 the Alcazaba was named a National Monument.Tip for the Alcazaba
There are two entrances to the Alcazaba. One is at the Plaza de la Aduana, beside the Roman Theater. From this entrance one has to go up the hill to the Nazari Palace, which is a struggle because the paving on the ground is not the best. People who are not physically fit may have problems going this way.
There is another entrance on Calle Guillen Sotelo, which is the street behind the Ayuntamiento (City Hall) and the Banco de España. This entrance has an elevator that brings you directly to the Nazari Palace. This is a better option for many people. It is better to take this elevator and after seeing the Nazari Palace, one can go down the hill to the other entrance at the Roman Theater.
In both cases, get a map of the Alcazaba when you buy your ticket. There are very few directional signs inside the Alcazaba to get to the Nazari Palace and one can easily get lost.