The Santa Bárbara Castle in Alicante is the town’s landmark. It is located 116m high on the Monte Benacantil. This very well-preserved medieval fortress is worth a visit. It dates back to the late 9th century, though also Bronze Age, Iberian, and Roman artifacts have been found on the mountain.
The Castilian forces took the castle away from the Moors on Santa Barbara day in 1248. Henceforth, the castle was named Santa Bárbara Castle. Since the Aragonese captured it in 1296, a lot of reconstructions were done during the next centuries.
However, it had to withstand barrage in 1691 by a French squadron, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), and even by a frigate after the Glorious Revolution in 1873.
There are 3 different levels: The top level, La Torreta, with remains from the 14th century and a spectacular view of the bay of Alicante. The mid-level with buildings from the 16th century, and the lowest level dating back to the 18th century with the dungeon.
In the Santa Bárbara Castle, you also find the Museum of the City of Alicante (MUSA) with exhibits from different historical ages - giving you a nice overview of the history of the city.
There are different ways of getting to the fortress. If you go for the climb by foot, you are well advised to choose comfortable shoes. You can also go by car (parking on the first level) or by bus. Or, you take the elevator from opposite the Postiguet beach (2.70 Euro for a single ticket adult; Ascensor al Castillo de Santa Bárbara, Career de Jovellanos, 1, 03002 Alacant).
If you prefer self-guided tours, there are audio guides available (3.00 Euro). There is also a service offering guided tours in Spanish and English (twice a day: 10:30 and 12:30, about 90 min).