Castle and mosque-chapel of the Virgen de Gracia
Despite being built in the 9th century, it was rebuilt by the Nasrids in the 13th century. The medina once had three walls, of which only two can still be seen today. On the outside several cylindrical towers have been preserved.
Various tower-doors stand out on the medina walls, as well as a water cistern in its highest area, next to the mosque. Today the building has been adapted for Christian worship and is called “Sanctuary of the Virgen de Gracia”.
The hill Cerro de la Virgen de Gracia features two walled areas. The outer ring preserves some cylindrical towers that would have served as access gates. This defensive complex rises only on the southern slope of the mountain range since the other slope constitutes a natural fortress itself.
At the top of the mountains lies the water cistern, which was essential in an area without natural springs. Enjoying such an impregnable location, it was successfully defended for centuries.
The access section of the chapel consists of three parallel naves that are also part of the mosque. It is followed by three other naves which are perpendicular to the previous ones as they were built in the 17th century by the Antequera style. The mosque boasts horseshoe arches on thick reused columns, two of which are spiral columns from a late Roman or perhaps Visigothic monument.
In 1634, the need to build a chapel to the Virgen de Gracia was documented, which would be accomplished by extending the mosque with three naves perpendicular to the existing ones.