This week we are going to propose a very tempting visit, if you decide to spend a few days in our Hotel Montíboli in Villajoyosa. It is undoubtedly an attractive option where you can find and experience the history of our Spanish Levante from a very different era, and at the same time you will be delighted with the views of Alicante city which are so worthy of seeing.
We are talking about the symbolic Santa Barbara Castle, an authentic viewpoint that takes in the entire port of Alicante and its bay, as well as its old town as well as other towns close to the emblematic City of Light, such as San Juan de Alicante, Campello and Muchamiel. It is certainly a spectacular view, so it is clear that if you decide to visit the Castle of Santa Barbara, you will definitely spend a long time contemplating those magnificent panoramas.
The popular fortification of Alicante is located at the highest point of Alicante, specifically at 166 meters above sea level.
It was built in the 9th century, during Muslim occupation, and built on what we know today as Monte Benacantil, which safeguards the entire capital of Alicante, bordering directly on the sea.
How to get to the Santa Barbara Castle
From the Hotel Servigroup Montíboli, access to the Santa Barbara Castle is very simple. Just leave the hotel and take the national road towards Alicante. In about 15-20 minutes, the road ends and joins directly with the motorway A-7 towards Madrid-Murcia. After passing a long tunnel, you should take the exit to Alicante Avenida Denia (second exit of the A-7, first to the city of Alicante). You then continue towards the city center, and after crossing a couple of roundabouts, you will notice signs to the castle to the right, just before entering in the urban district.
When you arrive at the castle, you can leave your car in the parking lot, which is free for all visitors.
But if before going to the castle you intend to take a stroll through the city, from the beach of the Postiguet of Alicante you will find the emblematic lift of the Castle of Santa Barbara. It is not a free service (except for pensioners), but for the descent upon your return, you will not have to pay anything.
If you are in the old town of Alicante, at its highest point, along the famous Jaime I Avenue, you will find the great wall of the Castle Santa Barbara. It is a very nice and pleasant walk to the castle following this route.
Opening times of the Santa Barbara Castle
From October 1st until 31st March, the Castle is open to the public Monday to Sunday between 10.00am and 20.00pm
But in the months of April, May June and September it is open from 10 a 22.00 h.
On the other hand, in the months of July and August, during certain days the closing time is later, until 23.45pm. The reason for the later hours is due to a series of night time performances, conferences and representations in direct, and always at night.
These live performances in the Castle of Santa Barbara, constitutes an interesting meeting point for Alicante residents and tourists, as well as a cultural and leisure reference for the city.
Guided visits at the Santa Barbara Castle
If your visit to the Castle of Santa Barbara coincides with the weekend, you can join a paid guided tour that will take in all parts of the castle including the dependencies. The tour lasts for one hour, and after its completion, you can enjoy a pleasant meal typical of the region while contemplating the best views.
These guided tours begin after noon, so that their completion coincides with lunchtime.
The Santa Barbara Castle and Game of Thrones
In the Alicante Castle of Santa Barbara, you can frequent expositions, which in many occasions are free admission. They cover a wide range of subjects, with exhibitions related to Art, History and Literature.
The exhibition at the moment is called The Universe of Song of Ice and Fire, and is centered in a series of typical objects that have been handcrafted: an iron throne, white walkers, dragon eggs, as well as the scenes more representative of the series, with dolls emulating characters like Daeneris, Cercei, John Snow and Tyrion Lannister which will surprise you if you decide to visit the Castle of Santa Barbara before October 29.
Parts of the Castle Santa Barbara
The well-known Castle of Alicante, has three dependencies, clearly differentiated mainly by their height.
The Tower of the Castle Santa Barbara is identified as the highest construction of the castle, and it is also characteristic by having the greatest relics of the entire fortress of Alicante, many of them dated back in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Here you will be amazed by the emblematic Enclosure of the English, with the Engineers' Park, the Noble Hall and the Governor's Hall.
The middle part of the Castle of Santa Barbara has the most important dependence of the Castle, such as the great Hall Felipe II, with its eccentric Armory Square, with its impressive Guard Corps and the elegant Queens Bastion. These parts of the Castle were completed in the year 1580.
The inferior dependence of the Castle of Santa Barbara is the one that counts on the Revellón of the Bon Repós (present carpark of the Castle of Santa Barbara). There you will find the popular monument, that was built in honour of the Alicante born, Naval officer Félix Berenguer de Marquina.
You will also be surprised in this inferior dependence with the great shield that you will find next to the door that gives access to the central dependence. This marble shield was rescued from a serious fire in which the popular Royal Consulate of the Sea also disappeared, caused by a strong explosion in 1943.
The Castle of Santa Barbara from the 9th century to today
Although the Castle of Santa Barbara is of original Muslim construction, the fort was taken in 1248 by the then Prince Alfonso, who converted a few years later in Alfonso X El Sabio.
In 1296, it fell into the hands of James II, who turned it into one of the most strategic and symbolic points of the entire Crown of Aragon.
But it was not until the reign of Philip II in the sixteenth century when the first remodeling of the Castle of Santa Barbara began.
French bombings in the late 17th and early 18th century with the War of Succession and later in the last third of the 19th century during the disastrous Rebellion of Moné substantially deteriorated the Castle of Santa Barbara in Alicante. It was in 1844 that the liberal forces of General Espartero seized it.
Then in the Spanish Civil War, the Castle of Santa Barbara was used as a prison, first for militants and sympathizers of the nationalist side, and later for members of the Republican front, many of the latter coming from the Los Almendros concentration camp.
The Castle Santa Barbara was opened to the public in 1963, and today it is recognized as one of the most important tourist attractions in the entire Valencian Community.
Do you dare to visit this wonderful castle and tell us your experience?
We will be waiting for you...
Articles published in 2018