THE PALACE OF VILLAVICENCIO
In 1664 tenure of the Alcázar passed by inheritance to Don Bartolomé de Villavicencio. The Villavicencio family, one of the most powerful in the city and with a noble lineage, began a series of reforms at the Alcázar, among which was the construction of this beautiful baroque palace, built atop the ruins of the older Islamic palace. The rooms on the first floor retain their original beauty and decoration.
On the second floor one can see the old XIX century municipal pharmacy with its original beautifully carved furnishings and a collection of lovely apothecary jars used in those days.
In the palace tower there is a camera obscura, a popular tourist attraction, which allows one a bird’s eye view of the city with the added bonus of being a live moving image. Here one can observe Jerez, its countryside and its monuments as one looks out over the city and its surroundings.
PAVILLION OF THE DOÑA BLANCA PATIO
Next to the octagonal tower and supported against the fortress’ main wall is a very tall building which is the only surviving Almohade palace of the old Alcázar. It was originally used as a pavilion of rest and recreation and it had an entrance portico and a swimming pool at the front. The floor plan is square with two lateral sleeping areas and it is roofed with an octagonal cupola like the mosque.
THE OCTAGONAL TOWER
One of the original towers of the Islamic fortress, it sits at the south corner on the point with the highest elevation making it a magnificent lookout tower with panoramic views from its battlements for watching and controlling the surroundings.
THE TORRE DE HOMENAJE OR KEEP
Don Rodrigo Ponce de León ordered the construction of this tower in 1471. This is a medieval keep which was once surrounded by an isolating ditch or moat and it served as a last line of defence and as living quarters. It has a semi-basement and three storeys. From the second one there is access to the chamber of the Islamic tower to which it is annexed.