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Monday, 26 September 2016

Malaga: Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro

Even a thousand years after it was built - and with all its visitors - you still sense the peace and beauty of the Moorish palace/fortress called Alcazaba, not so well known as Granada’s Alhambra but certainly worth a visit. Located just to the east of the old city, it sits on a hill below another Moorish fortress, Castillo de Gibralfaro.

If you need a reminder of Malaga’s rich history it’s right beside the entrance to Alcazaba. There in 1951 the remains of a Roman amphitheatre were discovered, the theatre used for 300 years but then buried under dirt and rubble for almost 500.

Through the entrance to Alcazaba, we made our way up into the palace and its gardens. Hopefully the notes I made can convey some of my impressions of the place. ‘Different levels, a mix of areas, gardens, shady courtyards, hedges, beautiful tiles, pebble mosaics, patterned stonework, small pools and fountains, little channels of water, ancient pottery on display, scent of jasmine, bougainvillea, good views of the city and port’.

Views are even better from the 14th century Castillo de Gibralfaro. There is a bus to the top but we took the hotter and harder option: a 30 minute walk in 30 degrees of heat on a well laid out path. Gibralfaro has more of a fortress feel about it but there’s not quite so much to see as its neighbour...apart, that is, from a small museum with arms, uniforms and other military objects and those wonderful views to the city and beyond.

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