Alicante Photo Gallery - Castillo de Santa Barbara

At the top of Mount Benacantil is Castillo de Santa Barbara, whose history dates from the Muslim era (713-1248). Christian armies re-took the castle on Barbara's saint day in 1248, and named it after her.

The castle was transformed into a military fortress during the reign of Felipe II in the 16th century with enlarged walls to protect residents in case of attack. Wells with large cisterns could hold enough water despite the area's arid climate.

The mountain is 166m tall so the views from the castle are worth an early wake-up call. Getting up there is relatively easy as an elevator does the hardest part.

There is plenty of space at the top for visitors to spread out and enjoy the vast views in all directions.

During the early part of the 18th century, the War of the Spanish Succession brought a few European powers to the region. The French set off an explosion to evict English forces from the castle in 1709, damaging but luckily not destroying it.

After the fortress was abandoned, it became a prison until restoration works took place in the 1960s. An elevator was built to make access easier in 1963. The 30-second ride now helps you go up 143m easily.

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