A visit to THE ALCAZAR is a must. This Moorish fortress/ palace was built by the Abbadid rulers in the early 10th century and later converted into a Christian stronghold.
This complex covers a surprisingly small area, but has a mosque (subsequently used as a church), Arab baths, several towers (one of which is octagonal), pretty gardens with a fountain, cloistered patios, the Palacio Villavicencio and a camera obscura.
The Hall of Ambassadors bears decoration closest to that of Granada's Alhambra. The Patio de las Muñecas is thought to be the site of the harem, and where King Pedro allegedly murdered an interesting mix of guests and family!
There are excavations on-going at the site that will later be extended to visitors. In the entrance is a modern art exhibition.
The camera obscura is a definite highlight, though it wasnt open the day we visited. Located in a tower, this offers a 360 degree view of the city projected through lenses and mirrors: Though the view of the city from the top of the stairs leading to the tower was pretty good.
Oct-Mar: daily 9.30am-5pm
Apr-Sep: daily 9.30am-7pm
The Alcazar de Jerez was built in the 12C when Jerez was one of the major cities in the area.
Much of the original Islamic fortress is preserved: One can see the original two gates, the mosque, the Arab baths and the octagonal tower. The mosque includes the fountain of ablutions, the paryer hall and the mihrab niche. In 1264 in was made into a church by King Alfonso X.
Sadly when I visited most of it was closed due to renovations. All of the furnishings have been removed to the Museum of Archeology, which is currently closed because it too is undergoing renovations. The inner garden and the bare walls, the original architecture and some of the original baths can be seen.
The Camera Obscura is located in the tower of the Villavicencio Palace built within the Alcazar in the 17C. It is not open on Saturday although the Alcazar itself can be visited on Saturday.
Entry: Euro 3.00 plus 2.40 Euro additional for the Camera Obscura.
Discount for Seniors: Euro 2.40 for Alcazar and Camera Obscura together.
This 12th century fortress is of an Islamic origin and is the oldest building in Jerez de la Frontera.
Surounded by beautifully laid out gardens it houses a Mosque and the ancient Arab Baths.
We were the only people there and it was a very peaceful place to spend a little time inside the cool ancient buildings and in the gardens outside.
The Alcazar is not only a wonderful example of an Arabic fortifications, but also contains a mosque, Arabic baths, gardens and a Camera Oscura. The Camera Oscura is a great device which allows you to see moving pictures of the rooftops and sites of Jerez.
It is open Mondays to Saturdays 10-6 and Sundays 10-3 and costs €2.50 to enter. You can also get a guided tour if you book in advance.
Situated within the Alcazar (Moorish fortress or palace) at the top of the tower of the Palacio de Villavicencio is a Camera Obscura. You can just see the periscope on the roof of the picture and the images are shown in the projection room immediately beneath. It is well worth a visit. There is a balcony outside at this level with excellent views over Jerez and the surrounding countryside.
The entrance fee to the Alcazar includes admission to the Camera Obscura. The price, (in 2003) was 3.30 euros.
The original Alcazar was build in the 12th century. Jerez, however, was re-conquered by the Christians in 1264, so many changes have taken place. The small parade ground shown here dates from the re-conquest.
The Alcazar of Jerez is really wonderful, I can't explain why there were so few people when I visted it. The garden is a piece of paradise, full of flowers, plants and fountains.
It's the oldest building in Jerez and besides the gardens you'll visit the old mosque, the oil mill, the arab bath and the camera obscura, a dark room on the top of a tower where you will be guided on a virtual tour in Jerez with a optical machine that projects the view of the town on an horizontal screen.
Ticket for the visit is 5,40 euros
Don’t miss the Camera Obscura, situated in the tower at the top of the Palacio de Villavicencio in the Alcazar. The projected views of the city are wonderful, and well worth seeing. You can see the periscope on the roof of the tower. The projection room is immediately beneath it, and on the floor below there is an outside balcony on three sides with views over the city.
The entrance fee is included in the admission price to the Alcazar (3.30 euros in 2003).
Cadiz also has a camera obscura, situated in the Torre Tavira.
Great overview over the city - in realtime!! It is a very simple and old principle, but very impressing at the same time. A great thing. Its near the cathedral in the Tower in the Alcazar and you get a certain date, when entering the Museum. The staff is very helpful and nice!
The parade ground within the Alcazar dates from the Christian period after the reconquest of Jerez in 1264 by King Alphonso X, the Wise. It was the area where troops were assembled and reviewed. It is quite a compact area, so the formations must have been quite small !
The building behind is the Villaviciencio Palace built by Bortolome Fernandez de Villavicencio after he inherited the alcazar in 1664. Much of the beauty and decoration of the original rooms remains.
The Camara Obscura is situated in the tower at the end of the top floor.
The Alcazar was built in the 12th century. Some of the original Islamic Alcazar still exists, including the two gates, the mosque, the Arab baths, the palace of the Patio of Dona Blanca, and the octagonal tower - seen in the photo. Other parts date from the 15th and 18th centuries.
Entry to the Alcazar, including the Camara Obscura, was just 3.30 euros in September 2003
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