The build: Malaga was transformed into a military stronghold by Muslim leader Yusuf I and his successors in the 14th century. Situated in Granada in modern-day Spain, the city’s defences were built to protect its key port against Christians from Aragon and Castile during the Reconquista. Designed to guard a kingdom against annihilation, the city boasts not one, but two fortifications: Gibralfaro Castle – or Castillo de Gibralfaro – and the Alcazaba of Malaga. Its unprecedented military passageway, vast underground chamber system and brilliant watchtower network are testament to its role as the eye of an empire.
The siege: The castle was attacked by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1487 as part of a massive offensive against the city. Commanded by the King’s elite soldier, the Marquis of Cadiz, and defended by Hamet el Zegri, a Muslim warrior fuelled by the desire for revenge, the stronghold was hammered by powerful “lombard” cannons – a weapon that would change the nature of warfare forever. The city and its citizens were also targeted, and for months, the battle raged on. This sustained onslaught would prove to be the bloodiest siege of this centuries-old conflict. And its outcome would change the future of Europe.