Santa Pola Castle
Santa Pola Castle is the perfect place to visit to learn all about the history of this coastal fishing town. Its strategic position overlooking the harbour allowed its soldiers early warning during attack from the sea. Being the closest point on mainland Spain to Tabarca Island meant that these attacks happened quite frequently as the island served as a haven for Barbary pirates. They would use Tabarca as a laying up point while planning attacks on the Spanish mainland. For an in-depth history of the town, start your visit to Santa Pola Castle at the Cultural Centre.
Santa Pola Castle
Planning and construction of the castle began in 1553 by the Italian civil engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli, and is a wonderful example of 16th century Renaissance military architecture. It was listed in the Programme for the coastal defence of the Kingdom of Valencia as being funded by Don Bernardino de Cárdenas, Viceroy of Valencia. After completion it housed a garrison of 30 soldiers and their families, their second lieutenant, the governor and a chaplain. As times grew less turbulent, Santa Pola Castle was used less as a military installation and more for civil use. At various times it has served as the Town Hall, Courthouse, hospital and even a makeshift bullring.
Santa Pola Castle Cultural Centre
The Cultural Centre is built over two levels and houses the Maritime Museum, Fishing Museum, Exhibition Hall, Duke of Arcos Bastion and the Virgen de Loreto Chapel. A number of displays and an audiovisual room offer visitors an in-depth look into Santa Pola's interesting history. Visitors can learn about the area's prehistory, the Iberian people and their trade goods, the Middle Ages, and Santa Pola's important fishing industry. This includes the port, shipwrighting, sail making, life on board, salting factories, mackerel fishing and maritime trade in the 19th century. Other places to visit are the Parade Ground, Bastion of Duke of Arcos and Chapel of our Lady of Loreto.