Alcazaba of Almería: the largest Arab citadel in Spain

The Alcazaba of Almería presides over the Andalusian capital from above. It is one of the most important testimonies of Al-Andalus. It is also the largest Muslim citadel built in Spain.


The construction of the fortified complex began in 955 by order of Abd ar-Rahman III, the first Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba. The Alcazaba was built on the remains of a pre-existing fortress.

It was completed in the 11th century by the first Taifa monarch of Almería, Jairán. Already with the Christian conquest of Almeria, the Catholic Monarchs and King Charles I reformed it.

There are, therefore, three different stages of construction: two Muslims, and one Christian.


The Alcazaba of Almería has only one door, which leads to Almanzor Street. This door gives access to a staircase that leads to the Puerta de la Justicia. Through this door you enter the first enclosure of the Muslim fortification.

This area corresponded to the military camp of the Alcazaba. It also had the function of receiving the population in the event of a siege.

Alcazaba of Almería

Gardens of the first enclosure

The first enclosure of the Alcazaba had important cisterns (today in ruins) for storing water. At the eastern end is the Baluarte del Saliente.

During the 20th century, a series of gardens were built imitating the restoration work that had already been carried out on the Alhambra in Granada.

Cisterns in ruins
Aqueduct in the garden

The so-called Muro de Vela separated the first and second enclosures. On it was a bell that warned when the ships entered the bay, in case of attack, etc. The second enclosure is the largest archaeological site.

Alcazaba of Almería
Bell tower of Muro de Vela
Alcazaba of Almería
Bell in Muro de Vela

It housed the residential area of the monarch, as well as the guard and the rest of the court. A whole palatine city was displayed there. It had all kinds of constructions and facilities: mosque, cisterns, baths, etc.

In this enclosure there was the Palace of Al-Mutasin. It was built in the 11th century, and is currently preserved with all its rooms.

The Catholic Monarchs replaced the old mosque with the church of San Juan Evangelista.

Archaeological site

The third enclosure corresponds to the Christian stage of the Alcazaba. In it, after the capture of Almería, the Catholic Monarchs ordered the construction of a castle in the highest area.

This construction is formed by different semicircular towers, like the Tower of Homage, the Tower of La Noria del Viento or the Tower of La Pólvora. It also had a moat and a drawbridge.

The interior has a parade ground, in the centre of which there is a cistern and a silo, which also served as a dungeon. The Homage Tower, which presides over the courtyard, is the largest in the enclosure. On its façade appears the coat of arms of King Charles I.

The Tower of La Pólvora also stands out, where the gunpowder for the firearms of the fortress was stored.

Alcazaba of Almería

Christian enclosure

Finally, the walls of Jairán should be noted. They form a wide wall that connects the Alcazaba of Almería with the castle on the Cerro de San Cristobal. This wall canvas is all that remains of the extensive wall that surrounded the city of Almería.

Alcazaba of Almería
Details of Charles I coats of arms
Jairan Walls


If you are going to spend several days in Almería, we suggest you the best restaurants where to eat. In addition, you can also see places where to sleep.

Location: Calle Almanzor s/n.
Phone: 950801008
email[email protected]…
Price: free entrance.

Schedule of the Alcazaba of Almería: 

From January 1st to March 31 and from September 16 to December 31

Tuesday to Saturday 9 am. to 6 pm.
Sundays and holidays from 9 am. to 3 pm.

From April 1st to June 30:

From Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am. to 9 pm.
Sundays and holidays from 9: am. to 3 pm.

From July 1st to September 15:

From Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am. to 3 pm. and from 7 pm. to 10 pm.
Sundays and holidays from 9 am. to 3 pm.
Closed working Mondays.

Duration: 1.30 h.

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