Address: Los Alcázares s/n
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This is a large fortress located to the east of the walled enclosure, at the highest point of Carmona and indeed of the whole Alcores region.
King Peter I had the building restored in the 14th century, building on top of what had been a pre-existing fortification dating to the Almohad period, itself built on the remains of another earlier fortification from the 10th century. King Peter I built a large palace similar to the one he also built in Seville and made it one of his favorites. It is from this moment onwards that it can safely be called the Alcazar, a fortified palace.
This entire complex is accessed through a large double pointed horseshoe arch that still preserves the remains of geometric paintings on the interior of the arches.
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake caused a great deal of damage to the building and the following centuries witnessed a progressive decline, finally ending up almost in ruins.
The Catholic Kings embellished the royal quarters and built the arsenal.
On leaving the fortress, if we continue to the right, parallel to the moat that borders the wall, we can see the cubete, part artillery battery and part arsenal.
It is an oval-shaped fort that was built during the time of the Catholic Kings, at the end of the 15th century. It was the first one to be dedicated to artillery that was erected in the Iberian Peninsula, and therefore, it is very significant for any analysis of the evolution of military architecture. This type of fortress was erected in response to the technological advances that had taken place in military conflicts from the 15th century onwards. Unlike the use of the old catapults, artillery demanded much more resistant fortresses. For this reason, most of the towers built from the time of the Catholic Kings onwards dispensed with the traditional quadrangular shape, which was much weaker at the angles, and replaced them with cylindrical and oval shapes, as in this case.
This first artillery battery, known as the “cubete“, served as a model for others that were later built in the Peninsula. It is made of stone and concrete and has a chain-shaped moulding, triangular section buttresses, three sentry boxes and two ogee arches at the entrance to the fort which are still preserved.
Points of interest
The fortified palace was declared a Place of Cultural Interest in 1993.
The parade ground houses the Parador hotel, – part of the state-run chain of hotels located in converted historical buildings -, built on the edge of the Alcores escarpment, and from its terrace there are spectacular views of the surrounding valley.
After years of restoration work, this highly impressive fortified enclosure was opened to tourists for the first time, on a temporary basis, in June 2018.