Wednesday, May 25, 2011



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Alcázar at Jerez de la Frontera.


In the gardens of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Alcázar of Córdoba), in Córdoba.


An alcázar (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈkaθar]) is a type of urban Spanish-Moorish castle. The term derives from the Arabic word القصر al qasr meaning palace, castle, or fortress. Many cities in Spain have an alcázar. They developed from alcazabas in the 13th and 14th centuries.[1]

Landmark alcázars

  • The Alcázar of Segovia was built in the 12th century. During the Middle Ages when in the Kingdom of Castile, the alcázar of Segovia was the favorite residence of Castilian monarchs, and almost each king added new parts to the building, transforming the original fortress into a courtier residence and prolonging the construction of the castle until the 16th century, when king Philip II added the conical spires and the slate roofs. A fire in 1862 destroyed part of the roofs, but they were restored in the very same style they were built 300 years ago.

  • The Alcázar of Madrid was an important royal palace built by Charles V (rebuilt by his son, Philip II)[2] and the main royal residence in Madrid until the Buen Retiro Palace partly superseded it in the 17th century. It was completely destroyed by fire in 1734, and the present Royal Palace of Madrid was built on the same site. This was initially called the Palacio Nuevo and never called an Alcázar.

  • The Alcázar of Toledo was used as a military academy in modern times. The famous "Siege of the Alcázar" in the Spanish Civil War refers to the Toledo castle, which was held by the Nationalist Colonel José Moscardó Ituarte against overwhelming Republican forces. Republican forces captured Moscardó's 24-year-old son Luis. On 23 July 1936, they telephoned Moscardó and informed him that either turn over the Alcázar within ten minutes or his son would die. Moscardó did not surrender. Luis was indeed executed, but contrary to widespread belief, not immediately: he was killed exactly one month later, on 23 August.[3]

Outside Spain

Outside Spain, in modern Palermo, Sicily, the district still called the Cassaro corresponds to the area of ancient Punic settlement of Zis, on high ground that was refortified by the Arabs and called القصر al qasr, and further expanded as the site of the later Norman palace.

In Portugal there is also a city called Alcácer do Sal (Al Qaşr), which was an administrative regional seat for the Moors during the Islamic Al-Andalus era on the Iberian Peninsula.


1. ^ Vann, Theresa M. (2006), "Castles: Iberia", in Alan V. Murray, The Crusades: An Encyclopedia: Volume I: A–C, ABC-CLIO, p. 221, ISBN 978-1-57607-862-4

2. ^ Philip of Spain by Henry Kamen

3. ^ Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil War, revised and enlarged edition (1977), New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-014278-2. p. 324

External links

  • This page was last modified on 15 May 2011 at 18:40.