Santa Pola Castle
Santa Pola Castle, locally known as Castillo Fortaleza de Santa Pola, lies in the center of the city of Santa Pola in the province of Alicante in Spain.
Santa Pola Castle was built in 1557. It was commissioned by Bernardino de Cárdenas, Viceroy of Valencia, and designed by Italian military engineers in Renaissance style. Its function was to defend and protect the local fishermen. Because ever since the Turkish settlement in Algiers in 1516, the entire coast of the Spanish Mediterranean was threatened by attacks of Barbary pirates who landed on the coast and ravaged and looted towns and rural settlements, taking away the inhabitants as slaves.
At the end of the 18th century Santa Pola Castle had deteriorated due to frequent pirate attacks. It was restored and became property of the Spanish Crown.
In 1855 the Ministery of War issued a demolition order for the castle because it had lost its military purpose. Execution of this order was prevented by the mayor of the town. The castle was then transferred to the local council. The castle was subsequently rebuilt and made fit for civil use; it became a town hall. Also the clock tower above the west entrance dates back to that time.
Santa Pola Castle stayed a town hall until the 1980's. It now houses a chapel, 2 museums and is used as a venue for cultural events.
It is a square castle with 2 bastions and two rectangular towers at opposing corners around a large courtyard.
At present the exterior and the courtyard of Santa Pola Castle can freely be visited, for the museums you have to pay a small fee. A nice castle.