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Santa Bárbara Castle

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A great fortress with views of the sea

Translated by Amy Stamford — 3 years ago

Original text by Daniel ..

A great fortress with views of the sea

Recently I have been to Alicante city, the capital of the province and the second capital of the Valenciana community, after Valencia. I will explain the monuments there in more detail, such as Santa Barbara Castle.

How to get there

A great fortress with views of the sea

There are multiple ways to access the castle inclduing walking to it, driving, on a tourist bus or via the lift. It is easy if you want to drive up to it, there is a road that takes you right up to the entrance so there is no problem.

Taking the lift is the laziest option, the same as taking the car! You can access the lift from Postiguet beach, if I remember correctly it costs 2, 70 euros however during July and August, it is free at the end of the day between 19, 00 and 23, 30.

There is also a tourist bus that goes up to the castle, I have always been against these buses that cost at least 10 euros and do exactly the same route as normal buses. Despite the fact that Alicante is really too small for a tourist bus, my advice is to just avoid these buses completely.

The last option you have is to walk up to it meaning you can see the walls and the architecture around the castle. The best route to get up to the castle is to take the road of the castle walls, Calle Teniente Daoiz, or access it via Ereta park.

A little history...

A great fortress with views of the sea

The Santa Barbara castle has Arabic routes from the 9th century, but there is also evidence of Prehistoric, Iberian and Roman remains.

It is located on Monte Benacantil, 166 metres above sea level. It is so high because it was safer to be able to see any possible attacks historically.

The castle was conquered in 1248, on Santa Barabara day (4th December) by Alfonso X el Sabio. Although he conquered the castle, it was the Crown of Aragon who took possession of the castle in 1296, under the reign of James II. Pedro IV Ceremonious made some alterations to the castle but it was not until Charles I when it was fortified.

Most of the reform took place between 1562 and 1580, during Felipe II's reign. Juan Bautista Antonelli y Jorge Palearo were the architects who led the reformation. It was during this time that most of parts of the castle we see today were created.

In the following centuries, it was considerably damaged, notably in 1691 by a French squadron and between 1706 and 1709 by British troops in the War of Succession.

It was also damaged in the late nineteenth century, in 1873 to be exact, when rebels from the Cantón de Cartagena launched missiles at Alicante and the castle.

The castle was left unrestored until 1963 when the decision was made to renovate it.

The castle

A great fortress with views of the sea

First of all, access to the castle is free of charge and at times, temporary exhibitions take place there but they are nothing fancy. Although it has been a while since I went, there are usually two major exhibitions, one about Playmobil, and another about the elements of torture.

Unless you're a fan of either of these two things, I don't think it is really worth going to see them. There are also guided visits around the castle, but i don't really see the point, only if you are in a fairly large group of people.

A great fortress with views of the sea

As for the castle itself, the best preserved area are the castle walls, rather than its interior. The views are the best, out to the sea and the city of Alicante itself is just a blur in the distance.

I would be lying if I said I thought Alicante was a beautiful city because it isn't really. It is quite built up, but still, the views of the beach and sea are stunning.

Inside, apart from the exhibitions, there is an interesting room which houses shields of the most important noble houses of Alicante. You can also see the ruins of the Santa Barbara church and some Roman remains near one of the walls.

In conclusion, I don't think Alicante is the best place I have ever visited, but the castle is not bad and one of the few things that the city has to offer. Although the city itself isn't striking, I find the castle gorgeous.

It has magnificent views of the Mediterranean and doesn't cost any money. Definitely, highly recommended for anyone who visits Alicante.

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