Monday, February 21, 2011

Know Alicante: the Moor's face

Alicante has two castles: Castle of Santa Barbara and Castle of San Fernando.

Castle of San Fernando was built on the beginning of the 19th century for protecting the city against the french troops that participated in Spanish War of Independence. It was never used because the French never sieged the city. It went very early into misconservation and just recently the area was rehabilitated including parks, sport centers, high school and some recreation areas. Athough it is quite in the city center of Alicante, it is not especially interesting for tourists, especially compared with the other one.

Castle of Santa Barbara was built in 9th century by the arabs on the top of the Benacantil Hill, 166m over the sea, offering an unbeatable viewpoint over the whole city and the Alicante bay. The castle structure has been changed over the centuries to adapt it to different war techniques and situations. Current structure dates mostly from XVI century. If you have just a day you should include climbing to the castle to enjoy seaview and some history, and sometimes there are also art exhibitions there (if you are tired after a busy agora full of AEGEE stuff, then maybe you can take the lift from the seafront at the foot of the hill).

The profile of the mount Benacantil and the castle on top, when seen from certain areas of the city, draws the face of an old moor man. There legend says it is the face of an old moor king...

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