You’re ideally situated when renting VILLAS IN ALICANTE for a visit to the Castillo de Santa Barbara. Overlooking the rest of the town, Mount Benacantil is home to a lot of Alicante history. Settlers have used this mountain from the earliest of times as evident by the many artefacts found on the slopes, each telling stories of their original owners, gathering berries and hunting wildlife. Phoenicians and the Greeks both used the area as part of their trade structure, relying on boats, building ports and sending products back to their homelands. There were no worries about customs, and what one can and cannot bring into the country in those times; everything was fair game. In those days, the Greeks considered that offering the locals a new skill, such as reading or writing equalled fair exchange, for goods that they could return to their homelands.

The 6th century AD came in a hurry with swords wielded and marching soldiers; battles were won and lost at the foot of the Mountain. Romans and Carthaginians battled to wrest control of the Iberian Peninsula. It was General Hamilcar Barca who established a fortified settlement for the Carthaginians, and called it Akra Leuka (Greek) for “white mountain”. The Carthaginians managed to hold back the Romans at the time but it was the Romans that eventually controlled and held Hispania for over 700 years. All good things come to an end and so ended Roman rule. The Romans allowed the Visigoths to run Lucentum (the Roman name for Alicante); during the Roman occupation they never built any fortifications and that is probably why the Moors in 711 were able to conquer it so easily. With the arrival of the Moors during the 9th century AD along came the fortifications almost a hundred years after the Moors first landed.

Whatever the Moors built on the top of Mount Benacantil has long since been destroyed. The oldest part remaining of the castle are some vaults from the 11th century housed in the keep. Prince Alfonso wrestled the Arabic Castle from the Moors on 4th December 1248 - Santa Barbara day - and was the reasoning behind the castle’s name. It was later redecorated after 53 years under orders from Prince James II of Aragon. It took nearly 100 years before anyone felt it needed re-doing; Peter IV the Ceremonious had control of the castle at the time. The castle suffered badly when a French squadron sailed into Alicante bay, bombarding both city and castle in 1691. Then again in 1706 to 1709 during the Spanish Succession War, only this time it was English troops that invaded. The castle was used as a prison until 1873 when it saw the last military offensive on the castle; Numancia, an armed frigate manned by partisans of the Cantonalism movement, fired the ship's mortar. The guns and artillery were removed from the castle twenty years later and it slowly went into decline until in 1963 when the castle was first opened to the public. The same year lifts were installed in the mountain. You'll need to walk down a 200 metre passageway from Avenida Jovellanos. Although entrance to the castle is free, one would need to pay for the use of the lift – but it is worth it for a fabulous view from the castle while visiting from your VILLAS IN ALICANTE.

Author's Bio: 

Travel writer writing especially about my adopted home of Spain for Akilar.com providing Holiday Rentals from the OWNERS DIRECT.