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Antequera, Spain

Alcazaba Antequera Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Alcazaba Nov 16, 2013
The Alcazaba in Antequera was a frontier fortress, rather than the grand palaces of the larger cities in the region. It has been extensively restored, including an almost complete rebuild of the fortress barbicans (gatehouses and additional towers) around the perimeter walls, and it is not always immediately obvious where the restoration ends and the old castle begins. Although it lacks the beauty of the palaces in Cordoba and Granada, it is still an interesting place to visit for an hour or two.

The castle area includes the remains of two towers, the rather marvellously named Tour of the Homages and White Tower (if that isn’t Game of Thrones enough for you I don’t know what is), the castle buildings, a training ground and some older ruins; an old mosque from before the reconquest, and a Roman tomb. These last are being excavated, and the gardens are being reconstructed. There is very little in the way of interpretation boards, although there are audio tours available, including an English version, but you are left to use your imagination quite a lot and in the off season you’ll have the place almost to yourself.

Free outside the castle is the Arc des Gigantes - the Giant's Arch, or Arch of Hercules. It is a very early example of a public outdoor museum, built to display some Roman artefacts (the statue of Hercules it was named for has since been removed to the town museum but the Roman inscriptions are still there).

Your entrance fee to the castle also includes access to the collegiate church next door. It is a surprisingly plain church for such an important centre of renaissance theology; this might be due to it being built in the middle of the counter reformation, when the Catholic church responded to Protestantism by emphasising the learning in the church rather than the decoration. Or it might have got whitewashed more recently. There aren’t a lot of information signs to tell you. There is a reconstruction of a renaissance era religious parade item, a figure of Faith standing on a multiheaded serpent, which was pretty cool. You can pay to enter the church on its own, but I am not sure it would be worth it without the castle.
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