The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Medieval Palace, Cordoba,Spain)
The Fortress of the Christian Monarchs is one of Cordoba’s major landmarks. Built in the 8th century as caliphate residence, this complex of buildings and gardens had reached major significance during the Middle Ages, when Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella had been residing there for eight years. The Alcázar is a composition of massive fortress and royal palace.Since 1984, the Royal Fortress has been world cultural heritage.The fortress houses several remarkable ancient artifacts, including Roman sarcophaguses from the third century and tessellations from the second century. These treasures are on display in the fortress’ halls.
The fortress houses several remarkable ancient artifacts, including Roman sarcophaguses from the third century and tessellations from the second century. These treasures are on display in the fortress’ halls.
The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Spanish for "Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs"), also known as the Alcázar of Córdoba, is a medieval Alcázar (palace) located in Córdoba, Spain next to the Guadalquivir River and near the Grand Mosque. The Alcázar takes its name from the Arabic word القصر (Al-Qasr, meaning "the Palace"). The fortress served as one of their primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon.
In early medieval times, the site was occupied by a Visigoth fortress. When the Visigoths fell to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, the emirs of the Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus rebuilt the structure. The Umayyads fell to the Abbasid Caliphate and the surviving member of the Umayyad Dynasty, Abd ar-Rahman I, fled to Córdoba. Abd ar-Rahman I's successors established the independent Caliphate of Córdoba and used the Alcázar as their palace. The city subsequently flourished as an important political and cultural center, and the Alcázar was expanded to a very large compound with baths, gardens, and the largest library in the West. Watermills on the nearby Guadalquivir powered water lifting to irrigate the extensive gardens.
In 1236, Christian forces took Córdoba during the Reconquista. In 1328, Alfonso XI of Castile began building the present day structure on part of the site for the old fortress.