Watchtowers or watchtowers are a type of fortification used both in Islamic and Christian times, throughout European territory. I differ from other types of towers in that their primary use was military; and between the military or defensive towers it is distinguished in that it is usually of isolated structure. Its main objective is to provide a high and safe place from which to conduct surveillance and make military observations.
Towards century VIII after the entrance to the Iberian Peninsula of the troops of Tariq ibn Ziyad and Musa ibn Nusayr, this one will undergo an important process of social, cultural, ideological, political transformation, etc. thus being definitively integrated into the Arab world.
During the early years, the first Arab settlers fostered warlike confrontations between the indigenous tribes that until then inhabited that territory, which took refuge in the highest areas, sometimes building defensive buildings on which the Muslim settlers would settle later. and they will build their own, although of a greater dimension and constructive complexity.
With the arrival of Abd al Rahmn III and the proclamation of the Caliphate of Cordoba, the Arab state is consolidated as a social, political and territorial organic structure. From this moment, the castles will become not only structures with an exclusively defensive function and control of the territory, but they will exert an important symbolic function as identity elements of the power of the State.
The defensive territorial system initiated from the arrival of the Arabs to the peninsula will continue to be reinforced over the years in the different kingdoms of al-Andalus and having in the concrete case of the kingdom of Granada its time of greatest splendor during its last reign, the Nazari Kingdom of Granada, whose monarchs will maintain the complex defensive system of the kingdom of Granada up to the last moment in its struggle against Christian incursions.
The last Nazarí border, after the capture of Priego de Córdoba, Rute and Alcalá la Real will be established in the defensive arch formed by the fortresses of Montefrío, Íllora, Moclín and Colomera.
These municipalities that will make up the last frontier, after the Christian conquest in the 15th century, were repopulated by new Christians and Mudejars, becoming part of the so-called Seven Villas of the Kingdom of Granada (Colomera, Guadahortuna, Illora, Iznalloz, Moclín, Montefrío and Montejícar) which, of an excecional agrarian wealth, would supply the capital with basic products such as cereals, oil or meat.
Likewise, during these periods there was the rescue and exchange of captives, which led to the creation of a specialized lay professional body called alfaqueques, whose fundamental mission was to maintain peace or achieve truces. In this same way, another series of political personalities was created, the so-called mayors between Moors and Christians or "mayors among the kings" al-qadi bayna-l-muluk.