Almería Alcazaba, locally known as Alcazaba de Almeria, lies on a hill above the city of Almería in the province of Almería in Spain.
In 955 A.D. the first Caliph of Al-Andalus, Abd ar-Rahman III ordered the construction of the Alcazaba after he had granted Almería the title of ‘medina’ (city).
It was built on an elongated hill, overlooking the city and the bay, probably the site of an earlier Arab fort, dating back to 840 A.D.
It consisted of two enclosures.
An lower one meant to shelter the city’s population in times of peril, so equipped with large cisterns.
And an upper one with the mosque, baths and residences for the Moorish rulers.
In the late 10th century the Alcazaba in Almeria was enlarged under Almanzor.
It was again strengthened under Al Jayrán, ruler of the independent Taifa of Almería, between 1014 and 1028.
In 1147 Almeria was captured by Christian forces led by Alfonso VII of León.
Within a decade it had however returned to Muslim ownership.
In 1489 Almeria was conquered by the Christians under the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon.
They had a new castle built in highest part of the upper enclosure, effectively creating a third enclosure.
The impressive curtain wall between the first and second enclosure was built in 1763 under Charles III of Spain.
It is called Muro de la Vela (Wall of the Sail) and the bell on top of it was to warn the locals about the arrival of enemy ships or pirates in the bay.
To the north of the Alcazaba lies a curtain wall, equipped with numerous towers, closing off the valley and connecting with an even stronger wall on a hill called Cerro de San Cristóbal.
These walls were built during the rule of Al Jayrán in the early 11th century and were strengthened during the short Christian occupation in the 12th century.
They were part of the city walls.
The walls are called the Jayrán Walls and sometimes Castillo de San Cristóbal.
At present Almería Alcazaba can be visited for a fee.
The Jayrán Walls can freely be visited, although you can not walk upon the walls.
The whole complex is very interesting and certainly worth your visit.
*This article was originally published at http://www.castles.nl/