Monday, 15 September 2014

I have been to … the Alcazar, Jerez, Spain

The Alcazar of Jerez was built and used between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries. It occupies a strategically dominating position in Jerez de la Frontera, and its building was begun during the twelfth century by the Moorish rulers of Lower Andalusia.

The City Gate
This is the original entrance to the Alcazar, and takes the form of an easy-to-defend S-bend gate.

The Mosque
To the left of the City Gate is the Alcazar's mosque. It was built at the time when the main part of the Alcazar was constructed, but was re-dedicated as a Christian church when the city was conquered by Alfonso X in 1264.

The Oil Mill
Although this abuts the mosque, this was not built until the eighteenth century, when the Alcazar's owner – Fernández de Villavicencio – restored the complex.

The Parade Ground
This open space was first used as a parade ground after the Christian re-conquest of Jerez. It is now paved, and houses an interesting horse sculpture.

The Gardens
The gardens have been recreated in the style in vogue during the period of Moorish occupation of the Alcazar.

The Country Gate Tower
The tower guarded the very narrow country entrance to the Alcazar.

The Royal Pavilion
This pavilion dates back to the period of Moorish occupation. It has pool in front of its arched entrance and an octagonal dome over its central room.

The Octagonal Tower
This is an original part of the Moorish fortress and has a commanding position from which the surrounding countryside could be easily observed.

The Homage Tower
This tower was built in 1471 by Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, Marquis of Cadiz, and it was intended to be the last defensive redoubt in the event of an attack. It was originally surrounded by its own moat.

The Villavicencio Palace
Bartolome Fernández de Villavicencio inherited the Alcazar in 1664, and constructed a Baroque-style place inside its walls as part of a larger restoration of the complex. The rooms are very cool and airy, and are currently used as an art gallery.


  1. Gonsalvo,

    The Alcazar in Jerez is very impressive ... and had it not been quite so hot, my wife and I would probably have spent even more time there.

    All the best,


  2. Jiaqi Lim,

    If you ever get the chance to go there, I would certainly recommend it.

    All the best,



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