Location: Calle Alcazabilla, Malaga, Spain [MAP]
Project Type: Courtyard, Ruins
Completion Date: 1930s
Access: By ramp leading from Plaza de las Aduana. Opening hours during summer are 09:30 to 20:00 and during winter are 08:30 to 19:00.
The Alcazaba in Malaga seems like that of any other Moorish style fortress or palace seen throughout Southern Spain. From the beautifully sculpted doorways to the use of stone and brick, the Alcazaba in Malaga shines in simplistic beauty, if a bit unkempt from previous years of neglect.
However with a few turns up the winding ramp into the heart of the Alcazaba, it becomes apparent that it is completely different from other Moorish style buildings. While a quick google search of the place will result in many pictures of beautifully restored gardens in the traditional style, such as pristinely manicured boxwood shrubs and geometric patterns, the true gems of the Alcazaba are the more naturally influenced gardens on the path up towards the inner palace.
With every turn these seemingly sporadic gardens pop up from the sides of the hill on which the fort is built upon, accompanied with random outcroppings of the natural rock that supports the structure. The plants are varied in shade and type, ranging from evergreens to tropicals which creates a beautiful combination of textures and colour.
It almost seems as if these plants and rocks have grown on their own without the hand of human influence, yet a closer look reveals that great care was given for the placement of each and every element.
Although the beautifully natural plantings are a deviation from the typical geometric courtyards and gardens seen in other Moorish structures, the natural gardens present in the Alcazaba in Malaga are a refreshing change of pace worthy of a visit.