This combination palace and fortress tells the story of the warrior potentates of the Taifa period in Andalucía, when the central Moorish empire had disintegrated into small squabbling kingdoms. It does not occupy the highest ground, but does command an irregular rocky spur that towers over most of the city. Begun shortly after the Arab conquest of 711, the largest sections were built between the 11th and 14th centuries. Just as Catholic churches often reused stones from Moorish buildings, the Alcazaba is filled with fluted Greek-style columns with acanthus capitals from 200 to 300 b.c. and occasional blocks of Roman stones with Latin inscriptions still visible. The well-preserved interior palace retains a palpable air of domesticity and is the most evocative part of the complex. The main entrance to the Alcazaba is up a long series of steps on Plaza de la Aduana, but there is an elevator entrance behind the Ayuntamiento (city hall) at Calle Guillén Sotelo and Calle Francisco Bejarrano Robles.