Castillo faro de Santa Ana

Point of interest en Castro Urdiales

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Castillo faro de Santa Ana

Castillo-Faro de Santa Ana - Wikimedia Commons

Castillo-Faro de Santa Ana - Wikimedia Commons

The castle-lighthouse of Santa Ana, one of the few castles present in Cantabria

For many, the attention of Castro-Urdiales is focused exclusively on the Church of Santa María de la Asunción. However, if we look behind it, separated by the esplanade and the old cemetery of the town, we find the castle-lighthouse of Santa Ana, one of the stops we can make in the middle of the Camino del Norte. It stands imposingly on the cliffs and is one of the few castles still standing in Cantabria.

Although it was created with the intention of serving as a defence for the city, it is currently devoid of military activity. Instead, its facilities have been transformed into a museum, serving entirely for tourist visits, temporary exhibitions as well as some cultural events. For this reason, the place where the lighthouse keeper's residence used to be has been converted into a glazed structure that serves as a hotel and restaurant.

A story of unknown origin

It is a construction whose origin is unknown, although there is talk of a Roman origin, placing its creation in the middle of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century. However, what is known is that this castle formed part of the defensive complex of the medieval town.

Its formation consisted of a first wall that surrounded the esplanade where the castle and the church are located, as well as another wall that was built later to surround the entire town and its two neighbourhoods. Thanks to its presence, the town of Castro-Urdiales remained protected throughout the centuries, even during the capture of Castro-Urdiales in 1813.

From here, they sought to defend the city, even to protect the citizens who sought protection. However, some of its cannons ended up falling into the sea, which today are visited by divers in the area, in search not only of adventure, but also to keep the history of the place alive.

Another interesting aspect of its history is that this place, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War, also served as an improvised prison, both for the national side and, indeed, for the Republican side. It is therefore a place steeped in history in the town.

The passing of the years has led to all kinds of reforms and extensions, this monument has not only not lost its charm and power, but it remains very present and imposing on the site. For this reason, we should point out that its original structure still has its masonry walls, which are topped at the corners by cylindrical towers. In addition to this, it has a medieval main nave with a half-barrel vault.

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