Alicante Santa Barbara Castle
Visiting fabulous Alicante castles you can get in touch with its millennium past. Each year, they are conquered by thousands of curious tourists which travel to Alicante.
Placed on the top of Mount Benacantil (stands for Arabic The peak of Laqant), the castle of Saint Barbara (Santa Barbara) dominates the landscape of Alicante Spain from its privileged location. With a height of 166 metres, it is the most distinguished landmark of the city and one of the largest medieval fortresses in Spain.
The castle was built in the ninth century when this part of Spain was under Muslim rule, although small settlements existed on the slopes of the Benacantil mountain already during Iberian and Roman periods. On December 4th 1248 (the feast day of Saint Barbara), the castle was conquered by Castilian king Alfonso X.
Today, the castle of Santa Barbara is opened for the public and offers breathtaking views of Alicante bay and countryside. You can make a lot of fantastic photos for your collection. Visit its palace with cannons and old artifacts, go downstairs into its dungeons and walk along its walls and towers. Santa Barbara is historically more important one of the two Alicante castles. The places of particular interest are the Hall of the Nobles (Sala Noble), the Room of Philip II, the Queen’s Rampart (Baluarte de la Reina) and the Rampart of the English (Baluarte de los Ingleses).
Moreover, there is also an administrative and military complex, consisting of the Governor’s House, the Guard Wing (Cuerpo de Guardia), the garrison courtyard (Patio de Armas) and the monument to Félix Berenguer de Marquina, who was Viceroy of New Mexico and Captain-General in the Philippines. During the summer (July and August), you can also participate castle evenings on Friday and Saturday nights, enjoying concerts and other performances in the courtyard. The entrance is free.
I prefer reaching Alicante castles by foot. Climbing to Santa Barbara, you pass first a picturesque suburb Barrio de Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) with small old houses painted in white and narrow streets full of flowers. Arriving to the slopes of the mount, you enter Park Ereta that gradually climbs up to the fort. If you want to take a break, there is a nice restaurant with a spectacular panoramic view over the Old Town, as well as exhibition hall. You can also access the castle taking an elevator from the central Postiguet beach. Another option is arriving by car taking the road from Vázquez de Mella street on the northern face of the mountain.
Curiosity: once you visit the central Postiguet beach, take a look on the castle of Santa Barbara. You will see that the left part of the Benacantil mountain below the castle looks like a human face in profile. This is the famous The Moor’s Face (La Cara del Moro) – one of the most emblematic images of Alicante Spain that can also be found on its coat of arms.
Address: Mount Benacantil, Alicante Spain
From April to September: Castle from 10:00 to 22:00.
Elevator from 10:00 to 20:00.
From October to March: Castle from 10:00 to 20:00.
Elevator from 10:00 to 19:30.