The Alcazar of Christian Kings in Cordoba is one of the most important symbols of the three cultures (muslim, christian and jewish), which cohabited in the Caliphate city for about 800 years, until the conquest by Christians in the 13th century, and subsequent religious and cultural uniformization that entailed.
In fact, the remains of a house that seems to have belonged to the Roman governor, as well as different Visigothic constructions, have been found on the site of the Alcazar of Cordoba. The different cultures that settled in the city understood the Alcazar as a building that represented the power, the governability of Cordoba, and an exponent of the command over the citizens.
However, the building that we know today is mostly of Christian construction, and not Muslim, as many tourists and even citizens of Cordoba mistakenly believe. You should know that when King Ferdinand III of Castile invaded Cordoba in the second decade of the 13th century, he decided that the lands of that Andalusian palace would be fortified to become a citadel that ruled over the city. Its location makes the Alcazar of Christian Kings an essential place in the defense of the city, since it is located next to the then only bridge of entry and exit of the Guadalquivir.
The Calahorra Tower, located just on the other side of the bridge, served as a fortified entrance to Cordoba while the Alcazar, on the other hand, joined with the outer wall that had already been initiated by the Romans a millennium before. If you walk along the Roman bridge and imagine the composition of Cordoba seven centuries ago, you will see how successful the idea is, since no one could invade the city by the river without having to face these walled defenses.
The Towers of the Alcazar
In the defensive aspect it is necessary to mention the four towers that the building presents:
- The keep or clock tower, because it had one centuries ago, is located in the northeast and its name may be due to a feudal reminiscence. The homage was the act by which the vassal united his destiny to that of his lord and promised eternal fidelity in exchange for protection and maintenance.
- The Lions Tower is from the thirteenth century and therefore the oldest of all the Alcazar. It is the one that you must currently use to enter the monumental complex and its name comes from the lions that it has in the entrance lintel.
- The Inquisition Tower is the only one with a circular plan of four and housed the archives of the Holy Office in the city.
- Finally, the Dove tower or sail tower is located in the southeast corner and close to the magnificent gardens of the building.
The Gardens of the Alcazar are composed of several pools that used water from the Guadalquivir River and water pipes that came from the Sierra. The space where the Gardens are located was that of the old Huertas, where food was produced for the inhabitants of the Alcazar.The current vegetation is composed of native plants and trees, such as cypresses, palms, orange and lemon trees. The most common flowers in the gardens are roses and “gitanillas”
Statue of Cristobal Colon and the Catholic Monarchs
In the Gardens you can see a statue of Reyes Isabel and Fernando receiving Christobal Colon. It was in this Alcazar where Colon requested funding from the Crown to open a new route to the Indians, which ended up being the discovery of America.
It is a beautiful plan for your visit to Cordoba to stroll through these beautiful gardens full of flowers and water; the two symbols of union with what the city means. Enter the different rooms decorated with mosaics and paintings will transport you to the Medieval period, because the Alcazar of Christian Kings, like Cordoba, is pure history enclosed in four walls, many towers, and a magnificent ensemble.
Visit the Alcazar of Cordoba for free
You have the possibility of visiting the fortress for free on Thursdays that are not holidays from 12: 00h to 14: 30h.
Those over 65 and those under 13 have free entry .
Students (accredited) up to 26 years have a 50% discount at the entrance.
For all others the price of admission is € 4.50
How do you see, visiting the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos for free is a possibility, so you can get to know every corner of the city without spending much.
In winter season (from September 16 to June 15)
- From Tuesday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.
- Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Sundays and holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
In summer season (from June 16 to September 15)
- From Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Monday closed
Remember that the last pass is 30min before closing.