Castillo de santa bárbara

History of Castillo de santa bárbara at Alicante

This castle is located on a 167 m high rock, Mount Benacantil, in the center of Alicante. It is an important strategic place from where you can see all the bay of Alicante and the surrounding inland lands. Seen from the beach, the rock looks like a profile that locals call "la Cara del Moro" (the face of the Moor). Archaeological remains have been found on the flanks of the hill dating from the Bronze Age, the Iberian Age and the Roman Period. The fortress dates from the 9th century. and was built by the Arabs. It took the name of Santa Barbara because the infant Alfonso of Castile, future king Alfonso el Sabio, conquered it on December 4, 1248, day of the saint. In 1296, the king of Aragon Jaime II tears the citadel to the Castilians. It will be remodeled immediately by order of Jaime II, then again by Pedro IV of Aragón El Ceremonioso (1319-1387), and again in the 16th century by King Carlos I of Spain (Charles Quint of the Roman-Germanic empire). There was a major reconstruction under Felipe II, son of Charles V, thanks to the action of Mayor Juan Coloma y Cardona , who built dependencies that can still be seen today. The works on the plans of Juan Bautista Antonelli and Giacomo Palearo lasted from 1562 to 1580. The castle however undergoes many attacks: French fleet (1691), war of succession (1706-1709), rebels of Cartagena (1873), war between Generals Boné and Espartero (1844), Civil War (1936-1939). Long abandoned, the castle has been open to the public since 1963 and can be reached by a lift or tunnel 200 m long.

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