The castle Zalia or Zalía is a fortress located in the municipality of Alcaucín . The castle, now in ruins, stands opposite the town of Alcaucín, along the river and the table of the same name, on a gentle hill in the historic highway linking Nasrid Granada to Malaga .
It is one of the best defensive architectures Axarquia, whose origins lie in the early Phoenician occupation, although it was during the Islamic period when they built the present castle. The structure retains access door, and two walled enclosures walls with cylindrical towers, dating from Moorish times. It stands as a monument fundamental to understanding the territorial organization of the area, reflecting both a model of land management as the habitat of a certain social class.
The Arabs built the present castle with its double ring of walls, reaching a peak mercy of livestock and cereal cultivation. It was later conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in September 1485 , this fort served as "prison - bishopric of the rebellious Moriscos". This conquest was achieved by the betrayal of a Christian Arab descent resident Zalia.
Zalia Castle is located in a strategic position to be located in the historic highway linking the capital Nazari Granada to the coast of Axarquia through passage of Zafarraya .
Access to Zalia Castle is from the road leading to Granada. Its main entrance was facing north.
Different techniques are observed and manmade materials in this castle. The outdoor masonry cubes alternating with semicircular square, and in the inner enclosure the two towers at the entrance are of masonry, but are topped in mud, and the enclosing wall of this room is also next to the cistern of mud. Fragments of pottery found belong to the last stage of Islamic domination, his chronology cover the period between the ages X and XV .
The castle has an irregular plan, adapted very precisely to the contour lines, the approximate dimensions of the enclosure are 120 m east-west by 150 m north-south. Some towers remain standing remains of the wall and, recognizing the traces of its former strength lookout, situated, as usual, at one end of the city walls. It consists of a double walled, both being very irregular. Outside Account thick masonry walls, punctuated by square towers and some circular; disappeared several stretches of wall, while other very displaced. The interior space, more regular, has inside a cistern and an impressive entrance gate flanked by two large masonry towers, recrecidas of mud on top.
The walls have different types as appropriate:
- Masonry ordered from a line defined by stones and gravel, although in some cases appear bricks. There are remains of a plastered with lime mortar that covered the gravel, leaving the exposed stone sunken, surrounded by a band, giving a more regular basis. This coating has disappeared in most of the walls, which is causing spoilage.
- Wall calicastrado mud, ie with a crust of lime mortar on the outside, leaving a smooth surface. These remains are located in the north, possibly part of the keep.
Some towers still have remnants of a coronation as a parapet or merlatura of mud, and even elements for roof drainage. It identifies remains of round towers and rectangular, all masonry ripiada abroad, although the input feature more elaborate masonry work in the corners. As structural elements, we have a large square cistern which is located in the northern center of the castle, inside the inner enclosure.
One day, this person walked to Alhama de Granada in order to see Gutierrez de Padilla, captain of the villa. He and his brother was on the staff of the castle, and as people were willing to renegade captain assist Alhama de Granada in his attempt to take the fortress. The captain and trust them as quickly prepared a group of knights and pawns left Alhama and reached the foot of the wall and nightfall. Once there, the traitor gave the password and made the knights could enter the castle. Unfortunately he was handcuffed and thrown from one of the battlements, and the Knights stormed the castle. When the Arabs realized what was happening, it was too late, as many Christians had taken over the battlements, settling a fight in which the Arabs were defeated. The fortified passed to Castilian.
The castle is called Zalia, since it was said that Queen Zalia down to the river to bathe daily. In the full moon, this hopscotch down to a small pond located at the summit of the fortress more, call the pool at hopscotch.
One night, a young man approached Nazari into the pool, watching the woman that mythical bath. As I watched her plunge between petals and lilies in the water, was caught by a guard and then was taken to the fence, where he lived the rest of his days remembering that woman with light skin, smooth and delicate. According to ancient oral traditions, the fence would be a former criminal, dependent Zalía Castle, where Muslims locked up their enemies.
In the vicinity of a gap existed strength. It is said that a donkey loaded with gold coins fell to him and plunged inside disappearing underwater without a trace. Many were the days that tried to locate the ass, but to no avail: both the animal and the gold seemed to have been swallowed by the lake and never heard anything about it.