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Málaga's Alcazaba District

Delving into the history that unfolded within this monument over the years

The Alcazaba District was a neighbourhood nestled within the walls defining the Alcazaba Palace-Fortress, largely built in the 11th century. Although records tell of its good preservation until 1675, the fortress suffered a prolonged period of deterioration over the years. Particularly devastating were the earthquake in 1680 and the bombardment of Málaga by nine French ships from the bay in 1693, during the Nine Years' War. During the War of the Pyrenees in 1794, it became a prison for 479 Frenchmen, and the Royal Hospital of San Luis was erected within the precinct by order of the Secretary of State, the Duke of Alcudia.

Having lost its military significance in the 18th century, it was subsequently occupied by less privileged locals, who built homes within the ancient walled enclosure, thus forming the so-called Alcazaba District. Following its designation as a historic monument in 1931, restoration work began two years later and continued until 1947, thanks to the interest and initiative of a group of Málagans and experts in Hispano-Muslim architecture, including Juan Temboury, Ricardo de Orueta, and architect Leopoldo Torres Balbás.

Alcazaba Restoration

During the restoration phase starting in 1937, following a project by Fernando Guerrero-Strachan Rosado, the Alcazaba's entrance via Plaza de la Aduana was reconstructed, resulting in its present appearance. Shortly after, a decorative assembly consisting of a fountain and two shields on either side was installed in one corner of the entrance, each element hailing from different origins. The wall-attached fountain comprises a tall trilobed basin, carved from a single piece of white marble, and a frontal rose marble drape with a curved finish, adorned with a cross and a disc at its centre from which the fountain springs.

Beside it, an inscription appears to read “D.LVIS S.TIAGO. YEAR 1727,” providing clues to its original location. It was either installed in the nearby Parish Church of Santiago or came from the house of a gentleman named Don Luis Santiago, who commissioned it in the 18th century. In the Coracha of this now-vanished Alcazaba district lived Salvador Rueda, an illustrious poet from Benaque (Macharaviaya), Málaga.

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