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I'm an Aussie who likes wandering all over the world but keeps coming back home to paradise and my family. If you are reading this on one of my travel blogs, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them. If you are reading the Diabetes and weight loss blog - I hope it helps in your battle with the beast. Cheers, Alan

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cordoba: Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and Royal Stables

Part of the magnificent gardens of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
Travel Date 27th June 2013. 

I almost forgot to mention one of Cordoba's other major historic attractions. An Alcázar is a king's palace fortress. The Spanish word goes back to the period of Moorish control, derived from the Arabic word القصر, phonetically al-qasr. Despite its title the site of Cordoba's Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, Fortress of the Christian Kings, has a history going much further back than the Christians. 

There are Roman ruins on the site from the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. 

Later the Visigoth fortress was here when they were defeated by the Umayyads in the 8th century. Successive Arab rulers created an al-qasr on the site as the centre of the caliphate. The original site was larger than the present fortress; the Arab palace was located closer to the Mezquita.
When Ferdinando III conquered Cordoba in 1236 the original Caliphal Palace was in ruins. Nearly a century later in 1328 Alfonso XI commenced construction of the Christian Alcázar next to it.

Over the centuries the alcázar has had a chequered history, much of it bloody. It has been central to Spanish history during the reconquest, civil wars and colonial expansion.

This was the building in which Christopher Columbus received royal approval from Ferdinand and Isabella for his voyage of discovery to the west. It was also the headquarters of the monstrous holy inquisition supported by that terrible two, including rooms and towers for inquisition, torture and imprisonment. It was a prison again in the early decades of the 20th century. 

It was proclaimed a historic architectural monument in 1931 and placed on the world cultural heritage list in 1984.

There are wonderful gardens in the Moorish style in the grounds of the fortress.

The Royal Stables are next to the present alcázar on some of the land where the original alcázar stood. These were constructed in 1570 for Philip II who had a wish to create pure-bred Spanish horses.


In these stables the famous Andalusian horse was first bred from Arab stock.


Spain is one of those countries I will always enjoy returning to. Next time I will visit Seville and Toledo. On this trip, after Cordoba I went to Morocco.

Cheers, Alan

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