The Castillo Santa Babara sits high up on Mount Guanapay overlooking Teguise, the old capital and the island of Lanzarote. King Felipe II ordered the castle to be built by Don Sanco de Herrera in the 16th Century as a watch tower to help protect the islanders from pirates and privateers such as Sir Francis Drake who was known as El Draque (The Dragon) to the Spanish.
At the time, Teguise was both the capital of Lanzarote and the HQ of the Spanish administration of the whole Canary Islands, so it had major strategic importance.
There is a tunnel that connects the castle to the town of Teguise below which islanders used to avoid pirates. The castle was later modified after an attack by Arráez in 1586 when more than one thousand residents of the island took refuge there. The engineer Leonardo Torriani proposed changes that made the castle the version that we can still see today.
Castillo Santa Barbara was restored in 1989 and we originally a private museum. It underwent another refurbishment in 2019 to 2023, and now has various exhibits showing the history of the castle.
This castle is in really good order, it’s interesting to wander around and read the information on the walls and look at the displays.
Last time we visited, in May 2023, entry was free. Castillo Santa Barbara is open from Monday – Friday 9am to 3.30pm and Sundays 9.30am to 2.30pm.
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