I have been to … the Castillo de San Sebastián, Cadiz, Spain

The Castle of San Sebastián (Castillo de San Sebastián) was built on two small islands that are connected to Cadiz via a stone causeway.

The fortress was built from 1706 onwards, and its purpose was to defend the north flank of the city from attack from the sea. It was re-modelled and rearmed several times during its active life, and it is now used for cultural events.

We began our visit by entering the small fort that protected the seaward end of the causeway.

Our walk along the stone causeway …

… took us to the entrance gates into the smaller of the two sections of the fortress.

This part of the Castillo de San Sebastián is as yet awaiting renovation, and most of it is not open to the public.

It does, however, lead you to the entrance gate into the larger, seaward end of the fortress.

It is only when you get to this point that you begin to realise how big and important the Castillo de San Sebastián was when it formed part of the Spanish coastal defence system.

Looking back the way we had come also made us realise how big the smaller part of the fortress is.

The centre of the fortress is dominated by two structures. The first of these is a twentieth century fire control tower and protected bunker.

The latter is very reminiscent of the fire control towers that the Germans built on Jersey and to the bridge structure on the Spanish cruisers Canarias and Baleares.

The other large structure is the lattice tower of the lighthouse that was built in the centre of the parade ground.

It is possible to walk around the top of the casemates …

… and this gives you an excellent view of some of the oldest parts of the fortress …

… and makes you aware – yet again – of how big the Castillo de San Sebastián is.

We would like to return to the Castillo de San Sebastián again in the future, by which point we hope more of it will have been renovated and open to the public.


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