The Alcazar

The Alcazar of Jerez or more correctly Jerez de la Frontera (the frontier being between the Muslim and Christian worlds) is one of the most emblematic monuments in the city.  It is situated in the Southeastern corner of a wall that once enclosed the ancient city.  The Alcazar comprised walls, towers and gates and constituted a complex defensive system.

The term Alcazar (pronounced al-cath-a in Spanish) is derived from the Arab word al-qasr and defines a group of buildings, surrounded by walls, which were used both as a fortress and as a palace.  It was like a small autonmous unit, seat of the political and military power that ruled the city and it’s territory.

The Alcazar was built in the 12th century and it is one of the few examples of Almohade architecture that still exists in the Iberian Peninsula.  During the 12th century Jerez became one of the most important cities of Lower Andalusia as is shown by the grandiosity of it’s Alcazar and the extensions of the wall, which was 4km long and surrounded a city of 46 hectares and with a population of 16,000 inhabitants.

Needless to say there are many good places to stand in and around the Alcazar.

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