The small Alhambra

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On the coast of Andalusia you find a midsize city which has a long history. During the Muslim rule of the town the rulers build a large fortified castle on the hills over the city. The castle was founded in the 10th century during the time when the Moors still ruled most of Spain from their capital in Cordoba. At the time the castle was the most powerful Moorish castle in all of Spain.

The castle is pretty big and it has been described as a poor version of Alhambra – it doesn’t have the same amazing decorations as you find in Alhambra – but there is only a fraction of the visitors so you can walk around the fortress without the crowds getting in your way. 

The castle is separated into three sections where the first was the public area which could house the local population in case of attacks. There is a large cistern at this area to provide water for the possible many extra inhabitants of the fortress in case of danger. Today there is peace in the area so the enclosure has been transformed into a garden with water and channels which give pleasure to the visitors of the castle.

Gazelles’s on a farm below the castle

Behind is a second enclosure which used to house the local Muslim rulers when they stayed at the castle. Unfortunately there isn’t much in the way of furniture or anything which would make the place more fascinating to wonder around – but you can get a good view of the water and city below.

The last section of the castle was constructed by the Catholic rulers when they took over from the Muslims – so the castle was still in use many years after the original owners of the fortress were kicked out of southern Spain.

The castle has been used in several movies – including some fairly high profiled movies like Never Say Never Again, Conan the Barbarian and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. So part of the castle might seem familiar when you visit – though I could remember having seen it before in the movies.

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