Flavours of Spain

The Alhambra - Part 2


The Alcazaba


This was the first part of the Alhambra to be built on a long projecting spur. At the highest point it commands impressive views of the surrounding area. It is reached through the Puerto del Vino (Wine Gate) which separates it from the rest of the site. 

Wine Gate, The Alhambra

Wine Gate, The Alhambra

This was the first part of the Alhambra to be built and was the royal residence before the palaces were built. It is a stark and plain defensive structure with sturdy towers, facing the the Palaces and Medina.

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

On the inside it is possible to see the construction of the original walls rows of boulders and thin bricks. The rendered surfaces are part of the C20th reconstructions. 

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

The Alcazaba is surrounded by a two walls, with a cobbled passageway between them.

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

There are good views down to the Palaces from the top of Torre Del Cubo, the defensive bastion built in front of the Homage Tower, by the Christian monarchs as an artillery platform. The Homage Tower was the last defensible part of the fortification and where the rulers lived. 

The Alhambra

Entry to the Alcazaba is through a narrow gateway with a dog leg bend providing extra defence.

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

Inside the Alacazaba is the Barrio Castrese, with the foundations of the barracks used by the Royal Guard, set on either side of a central road. These would also have included workshops, storehouses, granaries and ovens.

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

At the far end is the watch tower, Torre de la Vela, which was the first part of the Alcazaba to be built. It has four floors with an underground dungeon. It would originally have been battlemented. It was linked to a series of other towers and fortresses allowing control of the area.

The standards of the Catholic Monarchs were raised from this tower when they triumphantly entered the Alhambra. The actual bell tower dates from the conquest. Not only did it ring in times of danger, it also acted as a daily time keeper for the town. A complex series of rings regulated the opening and closing of the irrigation canals bringing melt water from the Sierra Nevada to the plain below.

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

There are excellent views down from here onto the Alcazaba and across the city.
  
Alcazaba, The Alhambra

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

Granada

Reached through a gateway in the wall are the Jardin de los Adarves or Rampart Gardens. The passageway between the walls was filled with soil, with the intention of building an artillery platform. In the C17th a garden was planted.
 
Alcazaba, The Alhambra

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

Paths are paved in cobbles arranged in decorative patterns.

Alcazaba, The Alhambra

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