The best viewpoints of Alicante: the castle of Santa Bárbara

The best viewpoints of Alicante: the castle of Santa Bárbara

At ground level, from the beach, you have to look for “the face of the Moor”, a part of the mountain where the castle that resembles a face is perched. But let’s look at this monument, one of the most spectacular city castles that adorn our geography.

The castle of Santa Barbara is represented in the shield of the city and has its origins at the end of the ninth century, during the Muslim domination, although much older remains have been found on the slopes of the mountain: archaeological remains of the Bronze Age, Iberian and Roman times.

The name with which the castle has been known since the thirteenth century comes from the feast day of Santa Barbara, December 4, when the infant Alfonso de Castilla (future King Alfonso X) took the fortress from the Arabs, in 1248.

Several renovations were made over the centuries, such as a fortification in the 16th century and the last extension in the 18th century to add the lower enclosure. Subsequently, the castle suffered destruction due to various war actions and finally fell into abandonment until in the twentieth century it was recovered and restored for an opening to the public.

Santa Barbara Castle: visit and views

The castle of Santa Bárbara de Alicante has three differentiated enclosures, the highest is known as “La turret”, where the oldest vestiges are: foundations from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries. There is also the old Tower of Homage, the Bulwark of the English, the Engineers Park, the Noble Room (former hospital), the Governor’s House…

The highest esplanade is known as the “Macho del Castillo” enclosure, where the old medieval citadel was. Watch out for the windy days from the highest point of the castle!

In the intermediate enclosure is the most important dependencies completed in 1580: the Felipe II Hall, former Troop Corps in front of the large Courtyard of Arms, Guard Corps, the Bulwark of the Queen, the ruins of the hermitage of Santa Barbara…

The lower enclosure is the most modern and is where the Revellín del Bon Repós is located (currently it acts as a parking lot). We also see at the entrance the monument to the Alicante soldier Felix Berenguer de Marquina, captain-general of the Philippines and viceroy of New Mexico.

The great white marble shield (18th century) that receives the visitor over the access door to the second enclosure was in the Royal Consulate of the Sea, a building destroyed by an explosion.

From the various bastions, checkpoints and other strategic points you get excellent views of the city of Alicante, the port and the entire coast to the north to Cabo de las Huertas and south to Guardamar, including the island of Tabarca in front of the coast of Santa Pola or the lighthouse of this town, another of the best viewpoints in the province.

It is not surprising that this point was chosen at the top of Mount Benacantil to lift the castle and not lose the detail of what was happening around. And it is not difficult to feel watchmen from the bastions, although they no longer assume dangers over the horizon.

The MUSA Museum in the Castle

In the castle of Santa Barbara is located the Museum of the City of Alicante MUSA, free admission, consisting of five rooms. They are complemented by the Renaissance cistern and the video room, which includes a projection about the “Space of pain” (the dungeons).

This museum brings us closer to the Alicante heritage, with archaeological remains and an explanation of the city’s relationship with the sea, the evolution of the city, the different cultures that have settled in the area since prehistory … There are also temporary exhibitions of payment. The hours of the MUSA rooms are from 10 to 14.30 and from 16 to 19 hours every day.

The visit to the castle of Santa Barbara in Alicante is free. The Castle organizes different events throughout the year and has kiosks in which to refresh and picnic area. The schedule of the castle is from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (April 1 to September 30) 10 to 8 every day (October 1 to March 31).

Our visit to the city of Alicante is not complete if we do not look at this viewpoint, one of the best in the province. Soon we will return with other privileged balconies.

Closed some holidays (December 24, 25, 31; January 1 and 6), so check the schedule. If we choose to climb in the elevator that is on the seafront, the general price is 2.70 euros but can be accessed by car for free.

The elevators were inaugurated in 1963, the year in which the castle was opened to the public. The elevators make a tour inside the mountain of 142.70 meters; they are accessed through a 204.83-meter long tunnel that is born on Jovellanos Avenue, in front of Postiguet Beach.

If we reach the castle by car along the road that surrounds Mount Benacantil from the back, there is a parking lot to leave the car and explore this enclosure that will offer us, among other things, the best views of the city of Alicante. There, at 169 meters above sea level, the camera does not stop working.

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