Once again, we get immersed in one of the most important historic memorials in the province, the Santa Bárbara´s Castle. We can find this great fortress over the Benacantil mountain, which has an altitude of 181,54 metres. From there, we can see the whole Alicante’s harbour and its surroundings. It is considered an advantage as it gives, or used to give to the castle, a high strategic value.
This fort dates back to the XI Century, times where Alicante was under the Muslim domination. However, we can also find archeologic ruins from the Bronze Age, the Iberian Period, and Roman Period too, inside thes lopes of the so-called Benacantil mountain.
The fortress’ name is given by the King “Alfonso X El Sabio” due to the fact that very same day they took the castle, it was the Bárbara’s Saint day, on December the 4th, year 1248. Afterwards, it was in 1296 when King Jaime II seized the castle for his reign, for the “Corona de Aragón Reign”. A century later, Pedro IV “El Ceremonioso” ordered to rebuild the area, and at the beginning of the XVI Century, it was King Carlos I who ordered to build a fortress.
However, it was during the Felipe II reign when the significant reforms were made. That renovation took place at the end of the 16th c and was done by Juan Bautista Antonelli and Jorge Palearo.
In the year 1691, Alicante was bombed, which did affect the Castle Fortress. The attacks happened as a consequence of the war between France and Spain, since our country was involved in the so called “Liga de Augsburgo” where different countries were also involved: England, Austria, Holland, Bavaria, Germany and Savoy. At the moment of the attack, military tactics were weak in Alicante.
Santa Bárbara’s castle has witnessed many battles, such as War of Succession (1706-1709) and the frigate “Numancia”, where rebels from Cartagena assaulted the province and leaving it in very poor conditions.
In 1963, the castle opened its doors to the public, since it really was in an abandon situation. In addition, the two existent elevators allowed to gain access to the fortress in an easy and convenient way. They allow people to be raised to 142,70 metres of altitude. If we desire to go up the elevador, we need to go through a tunnel of 204,83 metres. It is just in front of the Postiguet beach.
From within the castle there are three different areas. Firstly, at the top we find “La Torreta” which is one of the ancient remains. Secondly, we can also find the “Sala Noble” that in its beginning was a hospital. Thirdly, there is a big esplanade named “Macho del Castillo” where the early citadel was placed.
We recommend you to visit the second mentioned area, since there, we can visit the most relevant buildings which were finished in 1580. In addition, we would have the privilege of seeing the ruins of the Santa Bárbara’s chapel, the “Cuerpo de guardia” and the “Baluarte de la Reina”
To finish, we shall include that it is the third area where we have the opportunity to know the “Revellín del Bon Repós” which is meant to be the parking, but where also, it is the militar monument of the General captain of Filipinas and New Mexico; Féliz Berenguer de Marquina.
Then, if we want to access to this castle we can both, take the elevator, placed in the Avenue Juan Bautista Lafora, 03002 or drive on the road. This last is for free and is located in Vázquez de Mella Street, 03013.
In order to use the elevator we have to pay, in exception of the pensioners who can do it for free as long as they have the pensioner’s accreditation.
Listed below we add the necessary contact as for visiting the castle, timetables and prices.
The prices and any other information we think relevant:
-Telephone number: 965 147 160
Thank you very much, we will continue informing you in future posts.