Alcazaba

The Alcazaba is one of the main structures that can be found within the confines of Granada's famed Alhambra complex. Actually the oldest structure in the complex, it is the original Alhambra castle and dates back to the ninth century. A defensive fortress more than anything else, its purpose was to help protect the Emirate of Granada, which was part of the larger Al-Andalus region. This region was the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain, and architectural delights like the Alcazaba provide wonderful testament to its rich history.

Some scholars theorize that the Alcazaba Castle in Granada Spain was built on the site of a Roman fort. Also, while the castle originally dates back to the ninth century, most of what visitors see today is from the mid-1200s. Perhaps the most important date in the history of the structure is January 2, 1492. This was the day that the flags of Aragon and Castile were raised atop the castle's watchtower, thus signaling Christian victory over the region's Arab Muslims. The fleeing Moorish king Boabdil to wept as he and his people left the city. It is worth noting that his mother wasn't very understanding when he lost control of Granada. She stated to her son something to the effect of, "You weep like a woman for what you couldn't defend as a man."

One of the main joys that is associated with a visit to the Alcazaba Castle in Granada Spain is climbing to the top of the watchtower. Known as the Torre de la Vela in Spanish, this tower provides excellent views of the surrounding area. Among the things that can be spotted from its top are the Plaza Nueva and the more distant snowcapped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Also within view is the neighboring Generalife Palace, which is most often included on the itinerary when it comes to guided Alhambra tours, and for good reason. It's gardens are spectacular.

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