Santa Barbara Castle (Castillo Santa Barbara) ,Alicante, Costa Blanca, Spain
Santa Barbara Castle (Castillo Santa Barbara), looking from the sea ward side of the town
The enormous Santa Barbara Castle (Castillo Santa Barbara) is located on the 160 metre high cliffs of Mount (Mont) Benacanil just behind Alicante's sea front esplanade, Av J. R. Lafora.
Spectacular views of Alicante and the surrounding countryside can be seen from the castle ramparts.
Santa Barbara Castle was built by the Moors
Although this mighty castle perched as it is, on top of a mountain with sheer sides looks impregnable it was defeated on several occasions. When the British had control of the castle they were defeated by the Spanish who dug a cave into the mountain side, filled it with gunpowder and lit the fuse, blasting the mountain apart and a good proportion of the castle with it.
Old drawings of the castle show this side of the mountain as been a fairly flat surface, now note the massive indentation in the centre of the photograph above that was cause by the blast of the mine.
Santa Barbara Castle is one of the biggest castles in Spain
Access to the Castle
Entrance to the castle is free
The entrance is on the far side of the castle away from the sea front.
The road up to the castle starts from Avenida de Jaime II, near the Marq Tram station which is 200 metres from the N332 the main coastal highway, excluding the Motorways (Autopista & Autovia)
There are alternative paths up to the castle, the best one is through El Erata Park with an entrance next to the Water Museum. This route gives spectacular views over the Old Town, Marina and Sea Front
Click image for larger photograph
Lift: The tunnel entrance leading to the lift is behind the elevated sea front buildings near the pedestrian bridge over the main road from El Postiguet beach. Look for the signs.
A small charge is made for the lift, tickets obtained from a machine in the tunnel just before the lift. There is a castle information office just inside the tunnel entrance where you can obtain a free castle guide book.
The tunnel is 205 metres long and the2 lifts rise 150 metres to the castle
There are discussions on renovating the tunnel & lifts to improve the humidity and make access easier for people with reduced mobility
There is a charge for using the lift around €2.40
The last lift down is at 7:45pm Summer, 6:45 Winter, 45 minutes before the castle closes
- The Alicante open top Tourist Bus, turibus goes to the coach park outside the Alicante Castle Main gate
- The bus also visits other tourist attractions & has 10 bus stops throughout Alicante
- Frequency About every 20 minutes
- Bus Tour duration 50-60 minutes
Outer Gate & Wall
The gate is wooden shieathed in iron and topped with skikes
The walls have loopholds for musket fire onto the approaches to the castle
Inside the gate is a stone sentry box
There is a ditch infront of this gateway
Santa Barbara Castle (Castillo Santa Barbara) Photographs
Click on a thumbnail for a larger photograph
Parts of a Castle or Fortification
After the use of cannon Bastions replaced round or square towers which no cover to attacking troops who were close to the outamost portion of the bastion or curtain wall.
- Bastions had 2 side walls that juted out from the curtain wall. The outer side was made up of 2 further wall that came to a point.
- The Side wall of the Bastion provided covering fire along the curtain Wall and also the next bastion
- The height of the bastion was greatly reduced, often to the same height as the curtain wall
- The back of the Bastion was left open so that if taken by the attackers they had no cover from fire from the inner line of defence
- Also known as the Half-Bastion
- These are used where covering fire is not required along one of the curtain wall. The bastion does not jut out on this wall.
The Moraira Castle
The wall or walls that surrond a castle or divide it into defendable sections
- The curtain walls usually have towers in older castles, or bastions after the use of cannon
A triangular fortification placed outside the the curtain wall & bastions
- Was a popular style of outerwork.
- Outerworks were placed to provide some protection to the cutain wall from direct cannon fire
- Like bastions the inner side was left without a wall or a very low wall so as not to provide cover to any attacker who overwelmed the Bastion