Santa Bárbara Castle (Alicante)
I’ll be honest – Alicante didn’t impress us at all. But there was one attraction in Alicante that really stood out…and that’s the Castillo de Santa Bárbara (ie. Santa Bárbara Castle).
The castle was built by the Moors in the 9th century. Moorish rule in the region lasted 500 years until December 4 of 1248 when the Christians, led by Alfonso of Castile, captured the castle. It was part of the Reconquista, the Christian recapture of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims. The Castle is named after Saint Barbara whose day of celebration coincided with the capture of the castle.
Since then the castle has changed hands many times and has been occupied by the Dutch, English and French. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) it was used as a prison.
There’s really not very much to the castle except for walking the ramparts and seeing the great views. The castle sits on a commanding hill overlooking Alicante with 360 degree views on the city, the coastline, and the mountains in the distance. Santa Bárbara Castle has a phenomenal physical location and the views alone warrant a visit.
Getting up to Castillo de Santa Bárbara
You can either walk up or take an elevator right to the top of the castle:
Elevator: Right across from Postiguet beach (across from the overhead foot bridge) is a long tunnel leading to an elevator. Cost 2.70 Euro…but you’ll get to the top of the castle in minutes.
Walking: A series of streets behind Església de Santa Maria d’Alacant (Basílica of St Mary of Alicante) in the old town will lead you straight up or down to/from the castle. It took us 30 minutes walking down.
Entry to the castle is free.
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