Gardens, Towers and Royal Baths: The parts of the Alcazar
Meet the Alcazar of the Christian Kings
The Alcazar of the Christian Kings is part of the history of Spain - and the world. If its walls spoke, they would tell the story of how Christopher Columbus asked the Catholic Monarchs for the funds to embark on his adventure. Or the horrors of the Inquisition he witnessed.
The successive reforms on the part of the Governments that disputed the Alcazar as a centre of power, have left as a legacy an architectural mixture in a building that forms part of the oldest historical centre in Europe and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Would you like to see its orange blossom-scented courtyards? The impressive gardens that had the world's first irrigation system? Today we take you on a tour of the parts that make up one of Cordoba's most important icons... Shall we begin?
The Alcazar, a mixture of cultures and reforms
The almost 4,000 square meters that occupy the fortification area have seen the Roman civilization, the Muslim conquest or the Catholic Monarchs, among others.
Thus, the different uses the Alcazar has had: as a royal residence, as a torture centre for the Inquisition, a military prison... for this reason, it is not surprising that each of its rooms has a unique personality.
Outer frame, a war fortress
The exterior is made up of a wall made up of stone ashlars, topped with impressive battlements that give the Alcazar its warlike personality.
A personality in contrast with its delicate gardens and luxurious interior rooms.
Thus, the towers next to the palm trees guard the entrance to the Alcazar.
In every corner there is a tower:
Northeast: Torre del Homenaje (Homage Tower): It used to have a clock.
Northwest: Torre de los Leones, the most emblematic. Today it is the gateway and did you know that it is the oldest of all? Its name comes from the lion-shaped gargoyles on the top of this tower.
Southwest: The Inquisition tower or Torre de la Inquisición. Did you know that here were the archives with the names of those condemned by the Inquisition?
Southeast: Torre de la Paloma Square-planned, is a reconstruction of the twentieth century.
The gardens, the jewel of the crown
No less than 55,000 m² of gardens where palms, cypresses, orange and lemon trees, among other exotic species, come to life.
All this in a framework with impressive fountains and ponds, whose irrigation and canalizations were a step forward in the Caliphate period.
- Did you know...? Julius Caesar himself ordered the planting of floral species as exotic as the Oriental banana tree, which thanks to its large size cast shade to lower high temperatures.
Interior: a life of luxury
Hall of the Mosaics
Decorated with mosaics from an important Roman house which was next to the the ancient Roman amphitheatre. On the floor there are remains of the old Muslim baths.
Two ponds mark out this impressive courtyard, landscaped with plants from ancient Persia.
Former section of the penitentiary that housed the prisoners, hence its name.
In its walls there is an impressive mosaic dedicated to the god Ocean.
Royal Baths of Doña Leonor
Did you know they were built in honor of Leonor, the lover of Alfonso XI?
As you will see, the Alcazar has witnessed the encounters and love affairs of royalty.
Prison, military fortress or lovers' refuge, all the faces of the Alcazar are waiting to be discovered by you.