Alhambra Palace Alcazaba

Situated in Granada, the Alcazaba de Granada is the oldest surviving structure of the Alhambra complex.

It stands on the south western corner of the Alhambra complex and beside the remnants of the 1st-century Roman theater.

Christian additions like the round Torre del Cubo (Cube Tower) are inside the complex.

Alcazaba is one of the oldest parts of the Alhambra complex; earlier, it was a fortified military area.

The inside of Alcazaba is open with few constructions.

They planned it for military parades during peacetime and to strategize during battles.

History of Alcazaba

The Alcazaba history traces back to the Caliph period when the Arabs first constructed it, possibly on the Roman remains.

Historical reference to the existence of the Alcazaba dates from the 9th century.

Tracing back to the civil fights between the Muslims and muwalladins, Sawwar ben Hamdun built a few towers of the fort.

Muwalladins referred to Christians converted to Islam with mixed Arab and European descent.

The Nasrid period between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries saw the complex getting built.

Built around 1238, by Nasrid ruler Muhammad I Ibn al-Ahmar, founder of the Nasrid Dynasty.

His son Muhammed II lived with his family in Alcazaba till the construction of the Palaces.

Being situated on a hilltop gives Alcazaba the best defensive position in the city.

It later became the military barrack for the royal guards.

The Christians took over the city and used Alcazaba as a state prison.

Alcazaba history shows that major restoration started during the 1930s. 

Inside the Alcazaba

The meandering path amid the lush greenery takes to the entrance of Alcazaba.

Located on the south-western side, the Gate of Justice is the nearest entrance to the Alcazaba fortress.

You pass through several defensive archways before you reach the lower part of the fortress. 

The map of Alcazaba shows the towers around the existing castle.

It shows a reminiscence of the royal residence inside the fortress.

Sections inside Alcazaba fortress:

Arms Square 

Located near the urban military district are the Square and the Arms Gate.

As the original entrance of Alcazaba, it served multiple service purposes.

A rainwater cistern and bath on either side indicate sustainable living.

Structures of Arab houses and civilians serving the kings exist at the center.

A big dungeon for carrying out military operations exists near the Broken Tower.

Arms Tower

Built on the northern ramparts, this tower connected Alhambra and the city through Almanzora.

Older than the Justice Tower, its arches and structures recall the Arabic influence.

Visit here to see the horseshoe arch made of brick and stone, with guard benches below.

Watch Tower

The watch tower overlooks the city, neighborhoods, and the surrounding mountains. 

This tower is 27 meters (~88 feet) tall and has a bell on top.

Having four floors built with pillars and arches, people dwelled here for some time.

The inhabitants of the fortress rang the bell to inform the valley’s farmers about watering their fields at night.

The bell also worked as an alarm to call the inhabitants of Granada during danger.

Later, the Catholic Monarchs rang the bell as a mark of taking over the city.

Garden of the Ramparts

Located near the entrance of Alcazaba along the southern walls of the fort, it gives a beautiful city and forest view.

While visiting Alcazaba, enter through the parapet walk of the gardens to the fort area.

A mirador or balcony adorns the western wall of this garden.

Alcazaba tickets

The general daytime ticket allows access to all parts of Alhambra, including the Alcazaba tour.

The basic tickets include – Day tour, Garden Tour and Night Tour.

You can get Group guided and Private guided tours.

The entry ticket and guided tour mostly come under one single ticket. 

We suggest you try out the various activities while visiting Alcazaba. Here are a few other ticket options:

Ticket Name Duration Price
Alcazaba and Roman Theatre Guided Tour With Entry1.5 hours€13
Hop-on Hop-off Bus & Experience Card Options1-day validity€26
Roman Theatre and Alcazaba Guided Tour (Skip the line ticket)1.5 hours€16
Malaga: Flamenco, Tapas and Wine Tour 4 hours€103
Malaga: Alcazaba, Cathedral, and Roman Theater Guided Tour4 hours€ 145

Walking tours of Malaga

You can walk down the alleys and streets of Málaga to enjoy the local culture.

Go around finding historical places and learning about the traditions.

Ticket Name Duration Price
Málaga: 3-Hour Complete Walking Tour with Tickets3 hours €33
Malaga: 1.5-Hour Walking Tour1.5 hours€16
Malaga: Food-tasting walking tour3 hours€ 52
Malaga: City Tour by Private Electric Tuk-Tuk1 – 2 hours€ 71
Malaga: 1-Hour Segway Tour of Alcazaba Castle1 hour€ 58

Opening times

The Alcazaba opening hours are 8.30 am to 8 pm on the dates of 1 April to 14 October.

From 15 October to 31 March, the Alcazaba hours are from 8.30 am to 6 pm. 

Audio Guides

Avail the audio guides if you carry on with a solo Alcazaba tour.

With your Alhambra ticket you can get an audio guide that you can download on your mobile

Alhambra Alcazaba FAQs

Which Alhambra entrance should I choose for visiting Alcazaba?

If you have booked online Alhambra tickets, you can easily enter through the Gate of Justice.

Located near this gate, it opens to the terrace areas before entering the Alcazaba.

How long does it take to visit Alcazaba?

The Alcazaba tour may take an hour or so to visit all the towers and structures.
Moving around steep staircases going up and down the towers, narrow passages and open terrace areas can take time.

Where is the wheelchair-accessible entry and what is their entrance fee at Alcazaba?

Alhambra has specific wheelchair-accessible paths drawn on its maps.

The inside of Alcazaba being an old fort has steep staircases and narrow passages.

Map of Alcazaba shows the route considering the difficulty to access in wheelchairs.

It can be dangerous as well because of the high towers and open terraces.

Which is the tallest tower of the Alcazaba fortress?

Being a fort and a military barracks later, there are many towers inside of Alcazaba.

The Watchtower or Torre de la Vela is 27 meters high.

You can see the bell used by the fort inhabitants to alert the valley people.

This oversees the Alhambra forest, the valleys, and Granada city.

When and who built the Alcazaba?

Nasrid ruler Muhammad I Ibn al-Ahmar, founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, built the Alcazaba de Granada in 1238.

His son Muhammed II lived with his family in Alcazaba till the construction of the Palaces.

The initial structures of the Alcazaba fortress trace back to the Caliph period.

The Arabs first constructed, possibly on the Roman remains.

What is the location advantage of Alcazaba fortress?

Situated on a La Sabina hilltop gives Alcazaba the best defensive position in the city.

Surrounded by the northern walls and the Alhambra forest, guarding the places became easy.

After building the Nasrid palaces and gardens, this became the military barrack for the royal guards.

Are there night visit tickets for Alcazaba?

Visiting Alcazaba at night is not allowed after the normal closing times.

Having high towers and open terraces makes it risky to visit at night after dark.

You cannot get separate tickets like Nasrid Palace and Generalife garden night visits for the Alcazaba tour.

What tickets are available for the Alcazaba tickets?

General Alhambra tickets include Alcazaba tours.

Guided tours and private tours for visiting Alcazaba are available.

Better to book your tickets online to have a hassle-free tour.

Featured Image: Alhambra-Patronato.es

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