Meaning of Alcazar

The Latin term castra, which can be translated as “camp”, came to classical Arabic and then to Hispanic Arabic before appearing in our language as a fortress. A fortress is a fortified structure or the home of a prince.

In Spain, it is common for palaces from the Muslim era to be called a fortress , which were later rebuilt or modified by Christian monarchs. Alcazabas used to be built at the ends of the alcazars, spaces that were used to house a garrison.

The Reales Alcázares in Seville are one of the most outstanding examples of alcázares. It is a series of constructions that began to rise in the High Middle Ages and which are protected by a wall. Its construction began with an Islamic style and then it was acquiring other forms, especially from the Castilian domain. Since 1987, the Alcazar of Seville part of the world heritage of UNESCO.

The Alcázar de Segovia, built on a hill, was built on the remains of a Roman fortification. Its construction began in the 12th century and served as a residence for different kings. Today it houses a museum that opens its doors almost every day of the year.

Córdoba, Guadalajara and Toledo are other Spanish cities that have alcazars. In the first of them we find the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, whose construction took place in the first half of the 14th century and was carried out in an area where there were traces of previous buildings, since a space had been left since Roman times closed with remains of various constructions.

At first, the Alcázar de Córdoba was the site where the Catholic Monarchs led the conquest of the Kingdom of Granada. Later, it was the space in which the Inquisition Court operated.

The Alcazar of Guadalajara, meanwhile, dates from the 9th century and is of Andalusian origin. This term refers to the territory known as al-Ándalus, located in the Iberian peninsula and the western region of Gaul Narbonense, a province of the Roman Empire; he was subjected to Muslim power from 711 to 1492.

Over the decades and centuries, this fortress has had different functions, since at first it was a fortification from which it had to protect the city, but it has become a royal palace, a loom factory and even a military barracks. It is located in the Alamín ravine and extends over the length and width of one hectare. Upon reaching the city, it can be seen that this construction separates it from the artisan neighborhood of the Acallería.

During the Contemporary Age, a name that is used to designate the period of history that is located between the French Revolution or the Declaration of Independence of North America and the present, the Alcazar of Toledo served as the organization of a military academy.

Colonel José Moscardó Ituarte, from the rebel side of the Spanish Civil War, that is, from one of the many organizations that fought against the Second Republic through the coup d’état, took this building and managed to maintain it, even after the militias of the Republic warned him that if he did not leave the site his son would be killed.

Beyond the Spanish surface, the Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City stands out. This building, built at the time of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, was the only Royal Castle located on the American continent. In the time of Maximilian I of Mexico, it functioned as a fortress.