Perched atop Mount Benacantil, Santa Barbara Castle dominates the skyline of Alicante, Spain, with its imposing presence. The castle, whose history stretches back over a thousand years, has become one of the most visited landmarks in the city. With its strategic location, magnificent views, and rich history, the Santa Barbara Castle is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the past of the Mediterranean coast. For more information, visit https://castillodesantabarbara.com/.
Also read: 16 Things to do in Javea
Santa Barbara History
The origins of Santa Barbara Castle date back to the 9th century, when it was built by the Moors during their rule of the Iberian Peninsula. The castle has witnessed numerous battles and changes of ownership throughout the centuries. In 1248, the castle was captured by the forces of King Alfonso X of Castile, who named it after Saint Barbara, the patron saint of artillery and fortifications.
Over the years, the castle has undergone numerous modifications and expansions. During the Renaissance period, the castle’s defenses were enhanced with the addition of bastions and artillery positions. In the 18th century, further renovations were made, including the construction of a new entrance and the replacement of the drawbridge with a fixed bridge.
Exploring the Castle:
Santa Barbara Castle offers visitors a fascinating look into the past, with its well-preserved architecture and stunning panoramic views of Alicante and the Mediterranean Sea. The castle is divided into three main areas:
- The Torreta (The Keep): Located at the highest point of the castle, the Torreta is the oldest part of the fortress. Here, visitors can explore the remains of the original Moorish walls, the Governor’s House, and the ancient cisterns that provided water to the castle’s inhabitants.
- The Middle Enclosure: This area features several important buildings, including the Main Hall, which was once used for social events and ceremonies, the Aljibe (a large water reservoir), and the Torre de la Ereta, an impressive tower that offers breathtaking views of the city and the coast.
- The Lower Enclosure: The most recent part of the castle is the Lower Enclosure, which houses the Revellín del Bon Repós, a large bastion that was built to protect the castle’s entrance. Visitors can also explore the Castle Museum, which showcases the history of the fortress and the city of Alicante through various exhibits and artifacts.
Santa Barbara Castle is easily accessible from the city center of Alicante. Visitors can choose to hike up the hill, which takes around 20-30 minutes, or use the elevator that is carved into the mountainside. The elevator entrance is located at the end of Avenida de Juan Bautista Lafora and costs a small fee. There is also a tourist train that departs from Plaza del Mar and takes visitors up to the castle.
How to get to Santa Barbara Castle from Jávea
If you are planning a visit to the enchanting Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante from Jávea, you have a variety of transportation options to choose from. The distance between the two locations is approximately 85-90 kilometers, and the journey can take anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on your chosen mode of transportation. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to reach Santa Barbara Castle from Jávea:
- By Car: The most convenient way to travel to Santa Barbara Castle from Jávea is by car. Follow these directions for a smooth journey:
- Start by heading southwest on Av. del Pla toward Av. del Palmela.
- Take the N-332 and A-70 highways, which will lead you towards Alicante.
- After approximately 85 kilometers, take exit 67 from the A-70, following signs for Alicante/Playas.
- Continue on Av. de Denia for about 4.4 kilometers, then turn left onto Av. de la Estación.
- After 1.2 kilometers, turn right onto Av. de Juan Bautista Lafora.
- From here, you can park your car and take the elevator to Santa Barbara Castle, which is located at the end of Av. de Juan Bautista Lafora. Alternatively, you can hike up the hill or take the tourist train from Plaza del Mar.
- By Bus: There is no direct bus route between Jávea and Alicante. However, you can take the ALSA bus line from Jávea to Benidorm and then transfer to another ALSA bus heading to Alicante. Once you arrive at the Alicante bus station, you can either walk to the castle, which is about a 25-minute walk, or take a taxi or public transportation.
- By Train: There is no direct train service between Jávea and Alicante. However, you can take a bus or drive to the nearby town of Gata de Gorgos or Xàbia, where you can catch a tram (Line 9) to Benidorm. Once in Benidorm, transfer to the TRAM Metropolitano Alicante (Line 1) and get off at Alicante’s Mercado station. From there, you can either walk to the castle, take a taxi, or use public transportation.
Regardless of which mode of transportation you choose, the Santa Barbara Castle is well worth the visit, offering an enchanting historical experience and breathtaking views of Alicante and the Mediterranean Sea.
Santa Barbara Castle is a captivating historical site that offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in Alicante’s rich past. With its stunning architecture, fascinating history, and breathtaking views, the castle is a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike. To plan your visit, head to https://castillodesantabarbara.com/ for more information.