The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos in Cordoba is one of the most impressive landmarks you’ll find in Andalucia. After reading this post, you will book your tickets right away!
As Cordoba’s 2016 third most visited monument, after the Mosque-Cathedral and the Synagogue, the Castle of the Christian Monarchs is a must-see if you’re planning a trip to this part of Andalucia. Whether you love the majestic architecture, or you’d rather take long walks throughout its dreamlike gardens, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos will add a special charm to your holidays.
Go ahead and take a look at some curiosities about this Castle, to make your visit even more interesting.
How to get to the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
First of all, you need to know how to get to the Alcázar.
If you’re going to Cordoba by train, you can reach the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos within 20 minutes from the train station. Take bus line n. 5 towards C. Sanitaria, and get off at Glorieta Media Luna. Walk approx. 650 mt towards the south, taking the Avda. Dr Fleming and Plaza Campo Santo de los Mártires. The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos lies on your right. The bus passes each 15/20 minutes.
Or else, take bus line n. 3 which connect Albaida with Fuensanta, and get off at the bus stop “Mártires”. The bus passes each 15/20 minutes.
- Tuesday to Friday: 8.30 am – 8.15 pm
- Saturday: 8.30 am – 4 pm
- Sunday and Bank holidays: 8.30 am – 2 pm
- Adults: €4.50
- 0-13 y.o.: free
- Winter Tuesdays (Bank holidays excluded): free from 6 pm
- Summer Tuesdays (Bank holidays excluded): free from 12 pm
Anyhow, always check the opening hours at the Cordoba Tourism Board website.
What is the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos?
The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos comprises a 14th-century palace and magnificent terraced gardens and lush patios, where long strolls are a pleasurable way to discover the palace’s beauty.
Specifically, the 55,000 sq-mt Jardines del Alcázar feature orange trees located around spectacular fountains and fish ponds. One of the most appealing strolls you will take is that along the Paseo de los Reyes, among cypresses and small ponds. While strolling, you’ll also have the chance to spot the statue that commemorates the meeting of Christopher Columbus with the Catholic Monarchs.
However, the Alcazar’s most striking features are the four towers located in the four corners of the castle. The 13th-century Tower of the Lions (Torre de los Leones) is the oldest one and the one that gives access to the visitors; it owes its name to the sculptures of lions located on top of it. The Tower of the Homage (Torre del Homenaje) is the most imposing tower; legend has it that it was there where Columbus first met the Catholic Monarchs. The Tower of the Inquisition (Torre de la Inquisición) used to store the Inquisition Archives, and the Tower of the Dove (Torre de la Paloma).
The palace’s four towers enclose Mudejar patios on the ground floor, and tiled halls on the first floor, where Roman mosaics proceeding from the Plaza de la Corredera and a portrait of King Alphonso III are kept.
Who built the Alcazar?
King Alphonso XI of Castile had it built on Roman and Arab remains in 1328. More than a century later, the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabelle made it their home. It was in the Homage Tower where, in 1486, Christopher Columbus met the Monarchs for the first time, while asking for assets to engage in what would become the Discovery of America.
Once the Catholic Reconquest was completed (whose campaigns were managed by the Monarchs while residing in the Alcazar), the palace was converted into one of the Tribunals of the Spanish Inquisition. After being converted in a prison, and military quarter, the palace was yielded to the City Council in 1955.
Nowadays, events and civil weddings are celebrated in the Alcazar, especially in the Mosaic Hall.
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos: light show
The Magic Nights in the Alcazar is a light and music show that takes place at night in the gardens of the Alcazar.
In November and December, the show is at 9 pm Tuesday to Sunday, and the ticket costs €6.50. Children up to 13 years old are provided with free entrance.
Places to stay in Cordoba
Now that you know what you’ll do during your next trip to Cordoba, you’ll need to find a cosy accommodation where to spend the most relaxing days ever. We’ve got you covered on this one too! Just take a look at the best villas in Cordoba, or click on the button below. You will be shown some of the snuggest holiday villas in this province, among which you will definitely find the one that suits you best!
Are you looking forward to seeing the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos for yourself? Tell us in the comments below.