The ribat (fortress), of the town of Fuengirola is located on a hilltop at the mouth of the Fuengirola river on Spain's southern Mediterranean coast. The fortress was established by the North African Almoravid dynasty in the twelfth century, with later additions dated to the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The fortress's eight walls and eight towers enclose an irregular space, its plan reflecting the structure's adaptation to the terrain. Entrance to the fortress lay through a gate in one of the defensive towers, whose bent axis was a common defensive strategy in the military architecture of the Islamic Iberian Peninsula. The ribat is a building type common to early medieval North Africa, where such fortresses were established along border areas to house the religious warriors (murabitun, or "men of the ribat") fighting at military frontiers. Ribats generally consists of a rectilinear courtyard structure with storage and service areas on the ground level and accommodations and a mosque on the upper level. The Fuengirola ribat was strategically sited, along with nearby watchtowers, to control the Fuengirola river and the road which communicated with the nearby ports of Malaga and Marbella.
Rosario Fresnadillo. 1998. La fortaleza de Fuengirola y su territorio: aproximación histórica. Cádiz: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Cádiz.