The Castillo de Gibralfaro in Malaga
is situated above the Alcazaba and is connected by a path at the eastern end
of the Alcazaba. It was built in the 14th and 15th centuries by the Muslim
King Yusuf, on the site of a Phoenician lighthouse known as Yabal-Faruk, and
an older Muslim castle built by Abdar-Rahman I who was an 8th century Cordoban
emir. The name is derived from the Arabic word Yabal (mountain) and the Greek
word Faruk (lighthouse).
The castle was constructed as a fortress to defend the Alcazaba against the spread of artillery use. The fortification includes the defensive devices of a large flanking tower, a rampart perimeter adapted to the terrain by zigzaging walls and an angled gateway.
Within the ramparts there once stood a mosque that was converted to a Cristian church and later abandoned because of the exclusively military role of the fortress. An Airon well of Arabic origin and more than 40 metres deep dug out of solid rock can still be seen and is mentioned in historical records. There are also cistern wells, baker's ovens, lookout turrets and the building of an ancient powder magazine.
The site of the gunpowder arsenal now houses an exhibition potraying the uses of the castle as a military garrison and coastal lookout post from 1487 to 1925. Plans, weapons, uniforms and objects of everyday life are on display.