Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Monarchs), Cordoba

Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Monarchs), Cordoba (must see)

In early medieval times, the site of the Castle of the Christian Monarchs (Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos) was occupied by a Visigothic fortress. In the late 8th century, Abd ar-Rahman and his successors built the Alcazar. The area enclosed baths, gardens, and a library in the western world. Expansion continued under the Almohads (members of a Muslim Berber dynasty) in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Cordoba fell to the Reconquest in 1236. The present-day Alcazar kept by Alfonso XI was redone in the Mudejar style. During the civil war, Alcázar's defenses were upgraded to deal with the advent of gunpowder.

Isabella, Queen of Castile, and her husband Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, used the Alcázar as the first permanent tribunal of the Spanish Inquisition. In 1486 Christopher Columbus had his first audience here to solicit support for his expedition. The Inquisition used the Arab Baths as torture chambers. Napoleon garrisoned his troops here in 1810. In 1821 it was a prison.

Four towers enclose the open areas of Alcazar; the octagonal Tower of Homage is Gothic in style, with an ogival ceiling, the 13th-century Tower of Lions named for the lion-like gargoyles on the roof, the ominous Tower of the Inquisition is circular, and the square Tower of the Dove is a reconstruction of the one demolished in the 19th century.

The Hall of the Mosaics is the main hall of the Alcazar. Under the hall are the Muslim Royal Baths. The Courtyard of the Moriscos has arched verandas. There is a fountain between two ponds. The Courtyard of the Women was once a women's prison.

The Reception Hall has a Roman mosaic of the God Oceanus. The Royal Baths of Dona Leonor, built by Alfonso XI in 1328, are named for his mistress, Leonor de Guzman.

The Alcázar has been declared a Cultural Interest Heritage since 1931. It forms part of the Historic Center of Córdoba, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cordoba. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Monarchs) on Map

Sight Name: Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Monarchs)
Sight Location: Cordoba, Spain (See walking tours in Cordoba)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cordoba, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Cordoba

Create Your Own Walk in Cordoba

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cordoba is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Ancient Roman Sites Walking Tour

Ancient Roman Sites Walking Tour

Under all in Cordoba lies a once redoubtable Roman strongpoint. After Scipio's defeat of the Carthaginians in Llipa, the victorious Romans set up camp by the Guadalquivir River.

Under Augustus, the city gained the status of Colonia Patricia. A perimeter wall was built touching the Guadalquivir River. There were two forums, colonial and provincial. A large amphitheater has been uncovered....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Cordoba Introduction Walking Tour

Cordoba Introduction Walking Tour

It is said that the Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, named the town Qart Juba which means "Town of Juba," for a comrade general killed in battle. Roman conquerors pronounced the name "Corduba." Close enough.

A Carthaginian settlement on the West Bank of the Guadalquivir River was captured by the Romans in 206 BC. A proper Roman colony was founded near the Iberian...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Cordoba Jewish Quarter Walk

Cordoba Jewish Quarter Walk

The Judería de Córdoba is the area in Córdoba that was once densely populated by the Jews, between the 10th and the 15th centuries. Back then, it was a time when three world religions – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – coexisted in Córdoba, although not always peacefully. Attesting to that today are the major religious shrines found in the area, like the Synagogue, the Mosque-Cathedral...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.4 Km or 0.2 Miles