The Alcazaba is a Moorish fortification in Málaga, southern Spain. Built around the middle of the 11th century during the rule of King Badis, the Zirid ruler of Granada, to serve as the palace of the governors of the city. It is the best-preserved alcazaba (from the Arabic al-qasbah, قصبة, meaning "citadel") in Spain. Next to the entrance to the Alcazaba are the ruins of a Roman theatre dating to the 2nd century which is undergoing restoration. Some of the Roman materials were used in the construction of the Alcazaba.

Overview

It is built on a hill in the centre of the city, overlooking the port, and comprises two walled enclosures. It was formerly connected to the city ramparts which formed a third defensive wall but only two inner walls remain. The first, built around the topography of the hill, completely encloses the second inner area and is dotted with defensive towers. The entrance is through a gateway called "Puerta de la Bóveda" (Vault Gate), but nowadays it can also be accessed by an elevator. The entrance gate doubles back on itself, a design intended to make progress difficult for attacking forces. The pathway winds up through landscaped gardens which contain a number of ornate fountains, passing the gateways of "Puerta de las Columnas" (Column Gate), which reuses materials from the Roman ruins and "Torre del Cristo" (Christ's Tower) which turns at right angles to again impede the progress of attackers, The "Torre del Cristo" once served as a chapel.

The inner enclosure can only be accessed through the "Puerta de los Cuartos de Granada" (Gate of the Granada Quarters) which acts as the defence for the western side of the palace. On the eastern side is the "Torre del Homenaje" (Tribute Tower) which is in a semi-ruinous state. Inside the second wall is the Palace and some other dwellings which were built on three consecutive patios during the 11th, 13th and 14th centuries and includes the "Cuartos de Granada" (Granada Quarters) which served as the home of the governors. The inner enclosure also houses the Archaeological Museum.

In 1487, Ferdinand and Isabella captured the city after a long siege, and raised their standard at the "Torre del Homenaje" in the inner citadel.