A good workout.
If you are in Alicante, you should explore the Santa Barbara Castle (Castillo Santa Barbara). The castle is situated at Mount Benacantil and the walk up to the castle does the leg muscles good (unless you choose to take the car). The amazing view makes the walk worth it and it’s said that exercise is healthy.
Owned by many.
The castle was built between 1200 AD and 1500 AD, but it is believed that there is evidence of a castle on the site dating back to 200 BC. It has been in the hands of both the Arabs, the French, the English, and the Spaniards. The latter part of the time until the 19th century, it was in Spanish hands. However, they eventually gave up using it for military purposes and after that, it was only used as a prison before it was completely abandoned. In 1963, the castle was reopened to the public and that is what we can enjoy now.
A small community.
Walking around the castle and imagining the everyday life the residents have had, is absolutely fantastic. In addition to the obvious military departments, the castle holds everything from a bakery to a tavern. Everywhere inside the castle, there are furniture, art, and documents from the middle age. Very interesting in fact. The views over Alicante and the Mediterranean sea, from the many viewpoints, are also magnificent.
Year round entertainment.
At the various levels of the castle, there are small kiosks where you can buy ice cream, snacks, and water (this is needed when walking around in the heat) and while we were there there was live music on the “ground floor”. Inside the castle, there is a larger art collection and there are also changing exhibitions by different artists.
We were on the castle during the seagull’s breeding period and came very close to the downy, helpless baby birds. They could not yet fly, but walked around at the castle walls, with their protective parents. We have often tried to feed birds, but it struck us that the babies had to be thirsty, there in the blazing sun and we were right. When we poured water out for them from our water bottles, they drank eagerly. So now we have also experienced watering seagulls.
In a time warp.
Time disappeared for us at the castle and when we got down to the city again it dawned on us that we had been exploring its nooks and views for 5 hours, completely unnoticed. Castillo Santa Barbara is clearly an excursion you must go on if you are in the area.
– Text and photos: Eva // Adding, photos and photo editing: Malthe