Alcazaba

Alcazaba and Torre de la Vela

The triangular Alcazaba with its thick walls and towers was the main form of defence for the Alhambra against attack. This is the oldest part of the Alhambra complex and was the site of the original red castle. It was Mohammed I who built the surrounding walls and the three towers: the Torre de la Vela (Watchtower) in the far-right corner, the Torre Quebrada (the “Broken” Tower) and the Torre del Homenaje (the Keep). Work on the palaces began later and the Sultan lived here until they were finished.

Alcazaba (citadel)

The Alcazaba was the main military residential area and where the soldiers responsible for defending the Sultan and the Alhambra lived. A walkway runs through the middle of the Alcazaba and the smaller houses on the left were probably for single soldiers without families while the larger ones on the right were for soldiers and their families.

The houses were built around an inside courtyard: downstairs would be the main living room, the food store and the latrine with more rooms upstairs.

Torre de la Vela & battlements

As a city in its own right, this area would have had silos, an arsenal, steam baths and a bread oven where food would be prepared. Below the Alcazaba are the dungeons and this was where the captured prisoners were held.

For more photos of the Alcazaba, please visit this page.

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