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Gibralfaro castle

Diputación de Málaga
Castillo de Gibralfaro, Ayuntamiento y Alcazaba. Málaga

Gibralfaro castle

Monte Gibralfaro. Camino Gibralfaro 11.
Zip Code 29016
Monuments and Art > The Castle and the Wall



The name of this castle comes from the Arab word Yabal (Hill) and another derived from the Greek Faruh (Lighthouse), which suggests the possible use of the hill during the Phoenician-Punic period as a coast lookout point.
The name Gibralfaro is frequently found in Arab sources linked to a Muslim hermitage or oratory built on the summit and with a large cemetery extended over the slopes.

The references to the fortifications as such are later, as these were built in times of Yusuf I (14th century). In this period, the consideration of the need to build a fortress to protect the Alcazaba was probably due to the generalisation of the use of artillery and the fact that the Alcazaba had no defence if attacked from the slopes it stood on. There is an Interpretation Centre in the interior of the Castle.


1. Car park
2. Access
3. Viewpoint tower
4. Interpretation Centre
5. Cafeteria and toilets
6. Airon Well
7. Blanca Well
8. Original gate
9. Connection path to Alcazaba
10. Octoganal shaped water tank
11. Bread ovens

The fortifications, according to L. Torres Balbásm, incorporate all the new defensive elements used in Al Andalus, such as the huge brattice tower called Torre Blanca, the adaptation of the wall perimeter to the relief of the land to avoid having to build more buttresses, substituting these with zigzag spans, or the type of main gate, full of symbolism, such as the 'Gate of Justice' (Puerta de Justicia), which dates back to Nazari times and which is placed on a bend in the wall and covered with a pendetive dome with cut brick and bicolour ceramics forming beautiful geometric motifs. Also worthy of mention is the defensive barbican that surrounds the fortress and which opens to form the connecting path than descends to the Alcazaba. This original construction method of building in zigzag made it possible to avoid having to build costly brattice towers.

The impressive image the defensive complex presented to Malaga and the Castle-connecting path-Alcazaba ensemble, attracted the attention of all the 15th century Christian chroniclers, who all coincided in that it was impregnable.

From the information that has come down to our times it is known that there was a Mosque in the interior of the Castle, later transformed into a Christian church, use that was finally abandoned due to the uninterrupted use of the castle as military base until 1925.

The most outstanding features today are: the Airón Well, over 40 metres deep, which is carved directly out of the rock, and, according to historical sources, dates back to the Moorish period; several well-water tanks, two bread ovens, modern age sentry boxes and the oldest building, the gunpowder arsenal, now converted into an Interpretation Centre.


Address: CMNO GIBRALFARO 11,  29016  Málaga
Telephones:     Oficina: 952227230


How to get there

Monte Gibralfaro. Camino Gibralfaro 11.
Zip Code 29016

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