1,200 Years Of History In The Making; Meet The Alicante Castle
Different religions, civilisations, pirates, war, refugees, storms, and the life of an entire city went by the walls of this castle. You can trace the first uses of the 150+ meters high cliff where it sits, all the way to Roman times. The castle has seen it all, so isn’t it about time you see the castle? Read on and learn everything you need to know about the main attraction of this beautiful Spanish city.
A little history
When you have an astonishing 170-meters cliff overlooking a wide area, you can always expect it to have a fortress on top. It just takes a glance at where this 1,200 year-old-wonder is built to understand why it changed domination so many times. But let´s go to the beginning:
Moorish built some fortifications to protect the area in the 9th century. They were present in the region at that time. When archeologists found these remnants, they also spotted items from Roman and Iberia times, meaning that it had been used before Moors too.
It was King Alfonso X (Alfonso the wise) who conquered the castle for the first time for Christians in 1248. By 1520, King Felipe II ordered the building of a military base known today as the "Cuartel Felipe II” which is still standing.
The new fortified castle worked wonders in rejecting piracy and English vessels trying to land on Alicante’s shores.
It was in 1814 during the "Guerras de liberación” (Liberation wars in English) that the castle was used for the last time as a military fortress. After that, they turned this into prison for Gypsies and later on used by Italian fascists and Franco as well for the same purpose.
It wasn’t until after the fascist flag came down from the needle at the top that the building started being restored. The whole area surrounding the castle and the construction itself are archeological treasures. It is easy to spot the different eras that the castle went through. The culture clash of the different centuries is quite dramatic and very well-taken care of at the permanent museum.
Since restoration in the late 1930s, the castle has become a symbol of the region. Just as much as the Edinburgh Castle is a breathtaking view, the Alicante Castle receives amazing lighting at night.
Once you go up to the roof it is possible to see the entire bay area on a good day. Taking a selfie with the little surveillance tower suspended on the void is a definite must. All, of course, has a frame with the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea in all its glorious extension. The walk up there is quite hectic, but the reward is beyond amazing.
The Corona Protocol
Currently, Corona Virus outbreak has led to the closure of the elevators and the parking lot. The way up is a 20-minute walk with beautiful sights that transport you to the past. The way down is equally beautiful with the bonus of the reception when you reach the ground. You can shop, eat, and take souvenirs for all the family at the feet of the big rock you just came down from. Bear in mind that the castle is only open from 10 am to 8 pm.
Alicante is a land of endless wonders. You have the Mediterranean Sea and all its beauty. Also, centuries of history under your feet, and a vibrant, modern city ahead.
Costa Blanca is the perfect place to live your dreams. While you’re at it, visit the Alicante Castle; it is a definite must.