Gibralfaro Castle & Alcazaba
Alcazaba - The Alcazaba is a fortified stone palace, constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries by the Moorish kings, on the site of a previous Roman citadel. The palace is surrounded by strongly defended walls, with angled gateways (easier for defense), crenellated walls and rectangular towers.
Inside the walls, explore the Plaza de Armas, now a lovely garden, and the remains of the Nasrid palace where the king lived. Check out a model of the Alcazaba to get an idea of what it was like in its prime, and walk on the ramparts to the eastern edge of the palace, the Torre del Homenaje, for views of the city and port below.
Also, next to the entrance to the Alcazaba, take a peek into the Roman theater (from the 2nd century).
Gibralfaro Castle (Castillo de Gibralfaro) - It's a long and winding road to the top of the hill where you'll find the Castillo de Gibralfaro. The castle was built in the 14th century to provide more protection to the Alcazaba lower down, and it's one very hard-to-get-into fortress. Soldiers lived inside the castle, and Gibralfaro was a military outpost for over 400 years.
The best thing about this restored castle is you can walk all the way around on the ramparts surrounding the fortress, and it's a big area. There are pointy "merlons," dark passageways, and towers; climb up the White Tower and Lookout Tower, and look down over all of Malaga below.
In the center of the castle, an old powder magazine is now an interpretive museum with a super model of the Gibralfaro and the Alcazaba, and collections of 16th - 20th century daggers, swords, pikes, crossbows, rifles, and solider's uniforms (17th century is especially dashing with plumed hats).
After you've seen the castle, it's a nice walk down to the Paseo del Parque, or Alcazaba.
To get the Gibralfaro Castle, you'll need to drive to the top of the hill, or take #35 bus.
Tip: There is a combined ticket for Gibralfaro Castle and the Alcazaba, but the entrance to each fortress is some distance apart. To see both, visit Gibralfaro Castle on the top of the hill and then walk down to the Alcazaba.
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