Saw this dominating sight from the road as we passed on our way from Cordoba (visiting the Mesquite) and decided it looked too good to pass by.We were rewarded with a wonderful experience. The place is so steeped in the violent border town past of this area of Andalucia, that you can really understand what life was like. We only had to pay €3 each due to being OAPs with a Junta de Andalucia card. Otherwise it is €9 but the audio guides (which are a must) were included in the price.
Very interesting and surprising place. Very spooky bishop in the film show. Fairly steep and uneven ground.
We did this as combination ticket from one of the tourist information kiosks in granada. It was 20 euros each which included the return bus tickets, entrance to the fort and audio guide plus a tapas and drink at a selection of local eateries. The bus from granada bus station goes at 11am and you can just book this yourself via Alsa. It takes 45 mins to alcala real and then 10 min walk up hill to the fort. Im sure you can get a taxi if needed. The audioguide is a must and is excellent as is the fort with excellent views. A highlight is the audiovisual 20 mins presentation in the church at 1330. The ticket included a token for 2 tapas and a drink at one of the eateries in town which was very good. On the day we went the town was very quiet but i think this was because there was a festival in the evening so we felt we were hanging around for the 1815 bus. I think there are more buses in the week and in tge summer. This was a real highlight of the holiday and excellent explanation of the mix of muslim and christian influence of the area in an entertaining way.
We visited the Fortaleza at Alcala la Real near Priego de Cordoba last April. The audio tour (handheld and easy to stop and start) was excellent. The site is incredibly well-preserved and such a beautiful setting. Be sure to apply lots of sunblock and take some water. You'll be out in the direct sun quite a lot while listening to the tour. Also, be prepared for quite a bit of walking and stair climbing, although you can certainly skip climbing to the top of the towers. If in the area, this is a can't miss.Lunch at nearby Hospederia La Era in Almedinilla was fantastic (but call ahead if it's not high season).
Started in the 9th C. this is a very well restored complex with, sympathetic modern additions. First class visitor audio & general facilities. Excellent half-hour video of the castle & church histories & the restoration process. The mediaeval life style brought to life vividly. The whole, old village/town encompassed within the castle walls.
This castle is not well promoted which to some extents is good in that it is extremely quiet, but at the same time it deserves to be visited. We came away from this visit inspired by the history and the culture of the Moors and Christians that fought over this region for so many years. The audio guide is extremely well done and for non historians gives a good and atmospheric understanding of what life would have been like living and working in the castle both for the serfs and for the nobility. Unlike the castles of Edward I this castle still has the foundations of the many houses inside the curtain wall of the castle including the apothecary, the butcher and the inn. You can spend a good few hours exploring this gem and is topped off by entering the remains of the church which will take your breath away as you look at the vaults where the graves are and the remains of the pillar. If you are lucky you will time it to see the video show about the history of the place. having been to Al Hambra the previous day we so preferred this for its understated nature.
An almost hidden and unheard of castle and 8th century fortified village just North West of Granada.Open all day from 10-7pm but check which days before you leave. Unusual to have an attraction in Andalucia open in the mediodia period.A really fantastic place full of history with layers from Roman, Visigoth, Muslim and Christian eras. The audio guides are great and free with the entry price. As you go around you get the sights and sounds including small re-inactments of various points along the way. The Alcazar is awesome and as impressive as any in Spain with lots of nooks and crannies to explore.It's a vast site with plenty to see and do including a film with English subtitles about the main church on the site which was burnt down by Napoleons men in the Iberian War but which did reveal scores of 2000 year old graves dug into the bedrock beneath the church.We went there in August and the place was completely empty, we had the whole place to ourselves - compared to Alhambra which is like a conveyor belt of crowds. This is just as engaging and rich in history. There are numerous mini museums around the site that tell you more about the place and what went on there and how it became such an important place in the Muslim occupation and then again after the Reconquista.Well worth a visit!
This fortress on hill had been restored with seemingly no expense spared. It is a huge complex to be explored with audio guide. There is also a slightly cheesy if technically impressive audio visual display projected on huge screens in the church on site (would be great if they sometimes played feature films there - fabulous venue).It is easy to spend 3 hours there and for 6 Euros is excellent value by British standards.We were the only people there (albeit it was an August afternoon and the temperature was 36C) and it is a mystery why this place is not better promoted and visited. If you are in the area, go!One tip, try to approach it via the main road rather than from the town. From the town it is poorly signposted and involve navigating some hairy incredibly steep and narrow residential lanes.
Fortaleza de la Mota is an ancient city above Alcala La Real. The fortified city occupies a strategic point between Granada and Cordoba, along the Arab route of the Califate. Surrounded by towering mountains with only a narrow passage way for a road connecting the two points. The Fortaleza occupies a high crest of the hill overlooking the valley through which the road must pass. The same valley allows the road from Malaga to pass on it's way to Cordoba. After the fall of Cordoba it served as the frontier guard position against the Spanish forces protecting the city of Granada. During that time, the five guard towers on the mountains surrounding the valley served as an early warning system for the Fortified city and assured it's safety. After the Spanish took possession of the fortifications, five more towers were built on the southern mountain peaks to warn the Spanish of incursions of Arab forces. Earthquakes and warfare have taken their tolls on the fortifications through the years. The citizens abandoned the city areas inside the walls and moved to the plains below as the constant warfare subsided after the reconquest of Spain under the Catholic King and Queen. Now the site is a valuable insight into the history of the two cultures. Today, the entire location is the best preserved evidence of the two cultures. Presented in three languages, Spanish, French and English the signs and the explanations are presented in the finest way. The signs accurately depict how the systems of both civilizations operated and how the people lived. The museum is wonderfully displayed and easy to understand even for the youngest members of the family. The views are of course breathtaking and allow the visitor to feel how important the strategic position the site occupies. It is a wonderful place to visit and the staff are very cheerful and helpful in a very professional manner. The prices are low and the entire visit is one to be remembered.
After several years we returned to Alcalá La Real enjoying a family visit and a short stay at the village. Because of its majestic position on the top of a hill, the castle, called "La Mota" dominates the entire village and is a remarkable point of orientation for travelers between Granada and Córdoba. After the excavations and restaurations in the last 10 years, La Mota now offers a very well prepared visit with audio guides, maps, explications in several languages, a 30 min video session in the Abbay-Church and several short films in the different towers.Especially the children enjoyed going upstairs inside the towers to have some spectacular panoramic views of the landscape and the village (For the parents, it´s more a gym session).At least the open tumbs inside the Abbay-Church, the walls, the uniforms and the different towers and battle machines, awaken a lot the fantasy of them, so we had a lot of conversation :-).We did the visit starting from with a walk uphill from the village centre, in just 20 minutes. And of course we started with a traditional breakfast of chocolate and churros at the Paseo.Video Summary on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_jax6RFPVwMore informations on: http://tuhistoria.org/index.php/mod.municipios/mem.detalle/id.2/relmenu.526/lang.en/chk.b904f1fc7b0e8c6cc4d1b6d1e2de6921
Between Cordoba and Granada, just off the road, easy to find. Magnificent site beautifully maintained and huge!! Wonderfully atmospheric castle to wander around and beautiful church from the outside. It is a mystery inside but go up to the balcony and watch the interactive presentation and all becomes clear! Marvellous, even occupied two teenage girls!
The proprietor of our hotel recommend recommended that we visit, and we're so glad we did. This is a beautifully restored historic site, with state-of-the-art audio/visual resources and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. We appeared to be the only people on the site when we visited in May 2014, and we couldn't believe it! If you're in the area or passing by Alcala, make sure to stop. There's convenient parking right under the Fortaleza, and a lovely little gift shop too.
Visited the Fortaleza de la Mota after some trouble finding the right direction in Alcala. In the middle of the town the signs are hard to find so some determination is needed. But all time you see you need to go up as the fortress is sometimes visible from the city. However, once we arrived at the Fortaleza, parking the car was easy and free. The lady at the ticket office was very friendly. The audioguide tries to paint the past by describing the entrance of visitors in the Middle Ages. While i did not value this so much I think it is a good idea to bring the past to life. Overall one of my best experiences visting Spain this year. Lord of the Rings buffs will like the part about the chain of beacons sending signals to and from Fortaleza la Mota!
A stunning castle, church and the ruins of the historical walled town. A must, helpful staff, brilliant verbal guide, easy to find, stunning views amazing lavender follower beds, we are going back again soon!!
Visited the castle on a rainy day in May as to be honest we were at a loss for something to do. The castle was excellent value at 6€ for adults and only 4€ for OAP's. We were almost the only visitors there and were able to wander around for almost 3 hours viewing this fantastic restoration site. It is work in progress and it would be interesting to return in 20 years time! Alcala are missing a trick as this is poorly promoted locally and would be an ideal day out for families. Tip - take a picnic as there is no cafe!