My trip this month is a local one – to La Fortaleza, the medieval fortress and Alcazaba in Vélez-Málaga, capital of the Axarquía region. Of course, as with many other places, I see the fortress towering above the town every time I pass by, but somehow never got around to visiting before now.
La Fortaleza was in a bad state of repair for many years and, as a result, was not open to the general public – but that has now changed. Located on the highest point of the town, about 80 meters above sea level, the Alcazaba or Fortress was built during the 10th century under Moorish rule, but achieved its greatest prominence during the 14th and 15th centuries, as one of the most important strongholds of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. It’s worth remembering that the River Vélez was once much deeper and wider than it is now, and that the valley formed part of a trade route through the Zafarraya Pass from Granada to Málaga, making the town strategically significant.
Vélez-Málaga may not have been a very large town, but it was well fortified and defended by a solid set of walls, some of which can still be seen.
As with many Spanish monuments, the directional signage to La Fortaleza leaves a lot to be desired, but if you head for the Fernando Hierro Sports Stadium in Vélez-Málaga and take the Arenas road, following signs for La Iglesia de Santa Maria/Museo de la Santa Semana, you will find the Alcazaba (La Fortaleza) just before the church.
The restored Tower of the Alcazaba (the fortress La Fortaleza) is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 1pm and offers spectacular views over the town and the surrounding Axarquía countryside. Admission is FREE.
Don’t forget your camera! This post is my contribution to the One Trip EVERY Month Challenge. If you’d like to join me, here’s how:
- Each month, visit somewhere and then write about your trip or describe it using photographs – whichever suits you best.
- Don´t forget to title and tag your entry ’One Trip EVERY Month Challenge’, and link back to this page.
- Display the Challenge logo on your post or in your sidebar.
- HAVE FUN!
Are you ready to join me by taking ONE TRIP EVERY MONTH? What are you waiting for? GO!