An "alcázar" is a Spanish castle, from the Arabic word القصر "al qasr" meaning "palace" or "fortress". Many cities in Spain have an alcázar. In Portugal there is also a city called Alcácer do Sal ("Al Qaşr"), which belonged to Arabs during the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula.

Famous Alcazars

*The Alcázar of Segovia was built in the 12th century. During the Middle Ages, the alcázar of Segovia was the favorite residence of kings of Castile, and almost each king added new parts to the building, transforming the original fortress into a courtier residence and prolonging the construction of the castle till 16th century, when king Philip II added the conical spires and the slate roofs. A fire in 1862 destroyed part of the roofs, but they were restored in the very same style they were built 300 years ago. It is known that Walt Disney was inspired by the Alcazar de Segovia to create his famous Cinderella Castle.

*The Alcázar of Madrid was an important royal palace built by Charles V, and the main royal residence in Madrid until the Buen Retiro Palace partly superseded it in the 17th centry. It was completely destroyed by fire in 1734, and the present Royal Palace of Madrid was built on the same site. This was initially called the "Palacio Nuevo" and never called an Alcázar.

*The Alcázar of Toledo was used as a military academy in modern times. The famous "Siege of the Alcázar" in the Spanish Civil War refers to the Toledo castle, which was held by the Nationalist Colonel José Moscardó Ituarte against overwhelming Republican forces. Republican forces captured Moscardó's 24-year-old son Luis. On 23 July 1936, they telephoned Moscardó and informed him that either turn over the Alcázar within ten minutes or his son would die. Moscardó did not surrender. Luis was indeed executed, but contrary to widespread belief, not immediately: he was killed exactly one month later, on 23 August. [Hugh Thomas, "The Spanish Civil War", revised and enlarged edition (1977), New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-014278-2. p. 324]
*The Alcázar of Seville was built in the 1360s by Moorish craftsmen for Pedro of Castile who, with his mistress, Maria de Padilla, lived in and ruled from the Alcazar, and often remodeled. A UNESCO World Heritage site.

*Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos in Córdoba, Spain was a Moorish palace taken over after the Reconquista. Alcázar was the summer home of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and the site of their meeting with Christopher Columbus before his famous voyage.

Outside Spain, in modern Palermo, Sicily, the district still called the "Cassaro" corresponds to the area of ancient Punic settlement of Zis, on high ground that was refortified by the Arabs and called القصر "al qasr", and further expanded as the site of the later Norman palace.


External links

* [ Entry in Great Buildings website - Alcázar of Segovia.]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alcázar — Alcazar Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Alcazar ou Alcázar est un mot espagnol d origine arabe signifiant palais, forteresse. Il peut désigner : Sens d origine et évènements liés… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alcazar — Alcázar (span. alcázar; v. arab. ‏القصر‎ al qasr, „Festung“, „Schloss“; entlehnt aus lat. castrum „Feldlager“) steht für: Alcázar (Schloss), ein befestigtes Schloss in Spanien Alcázar de San Juan, einen Ort in der spanischen Provinz Ciudad Real… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alcázar — (span. alcázar; v. arab. ‏القصر‎ al qasr, ‚Festung“, „Schloss‘; entlehnt aus lat. castrum „Feldlager“) steht für: Alcázar (Schloss), ein befestigtes Schloss in Spanien Alcázar de San Juan, einen Ort in der spanischen Provinz Ciudad Real… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • alcazar — [ alkazar ] n. m. • 1866; alcaçar 1669; mot esp., de l ar. al qasr, du lat. castrum ♦ Palais fortifié d origine maure, en Espagne. L alcazar de Cordoue, de Tolède. ● alcazar nom masculin (mot espagnol, de l arabe al qaṣr, la forteresse) En… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • alcazar — ALCAZÁR, alcazare, s.n. Palat fortificat, foarte ornamentat, de origine maură, construit în evul mediu în principalele oraşe spaniole. – Din fr., sp. alcazar. Trimis de ana zecheru, 02.12.2002. Sursa: DEX 98  alcazár s. n., pl. alcazáre Trimis… …   Dicționar Român

  • Alcazar — (Севилья,Испания) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: Menéndez y Pelayo, 10, Нервион …   Каталог отелей

  • alcázar — sustantivo masculino 1. Castillo, recinto fortificado construido en lugares estratégicos: El alcázar de la ciudad de Cuenca se puede apreciar hoy día perfectamente. 2. Uso/registro: restringido. Casa Real o vivienda del príncipe: Es famoso el… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • alcazar — [al′kə zär΄, al kaz′ər; ] Sp [ äl kä′thär΄] n. [Sp alcázar < Ar al qaṣr, the castle < ? L castellum] 1. a palace or fortress of the Moors in Spain 2. [A ] such a palace in Seville, later used by the Spanish kings …   English World dictionary

  • Alcazar — Al*ca zar, n. [ fr. Ar. al the + qacr (in pl.) a castle.] A fortress; also, a royal palace. Prescott. [1913 Webster] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Alcāzar — (span. spr. Alkassar, port. Alcacer, Festung, Citadelle), 1) Palast, Residenz; 2) bes. die festen Schlösser zu Sevilla, Segovia etc …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Alcāzar — Alcāzar, s. Alkasar …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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