top of page

Málaga Alcazaba, the most visited monument in the Paradise City

History and beauty within the same enclosure of the Alcazaba

The Alcazaba of Málaga is a fortress palace, its name in Arabic means citadel.

Hailing from the Muslim era, it is located at the foot of the Gibralfaro hill where the defensive Arab castle is to which it was connected by a corridor safeguarded by walls called La Coracha; beside the Roman Theatre and opposite the Aduana building, it offers a unique opportunity to see the melding of Roman, Arabic, and Renaissance cultures within a few metres, making this spot incredibly special.

Constructed between 1057 and 1063 according to Muslim historians, on the initiative of the Berber taifa king of Granada, Badis. In its construction, carryover materials were used and pieces from the adjoining Roman theatre, like columns and capitals, were repurposed.

The Almoravids arrived in Málaga in 1092 and the Almohads in 1146. In 1279 Muhammad II Ben al-Ahmar conquered it and it became part of the Nasrid kingdom. Its remodel bestowed upon it a deep imprint as a Nasrid building constructed over the rock. It blends defensive needs and the beauty of an Arabic palace organised around rectangular courtyards and spaces with gardens and ponds. Its rooms, in the tradition of Granadian architecture, seek to play with light and shadow in the interiors, to achieve the intricate effects so well mastered by the Arabic builders.

Its military component makes it one of the most significant Muslim works preserved in Spain. With machicolations, detached towers with loopholes and crenellated walls as defensive elements, its best defence, however, was its location, overseeing from its balconies the city and the bay. There was a neighbourhood around it, now completely disappeared, which even had a system for evacuating sewage and almost every house had latrines, a testament to the high level of civilisation at that time.

It underwent successive reconstructions, some even in the 20th century, after being a humble neighbourhood of the city, and today it is open to visitors with important archaeological exhibits on display. During the initial excavations for its restoration, remnants of Roman walls made of concrete coated with reddish stucco and small slate dug pools intended for the preparation of Garum (a fish paste made by the Romans) were found, along with a dungeon where Christian captives, who worked during the day, were locked up at night.

Learn about the history and many curiosities of Málaga on the Málaga Free Tours that you should not miss. Book for free now!

Related Posts

See All


Guides prepared to start a Free Tour of Malaga


Málaga awaits you with open arms!


bottom of page