Bateria De Santa Barbara: A Fort Protecting Tenerife From Pirates
La Bateria de Santa Barbara is a defensive structure against pirates who often raided Puerto de la Cruz and the coastal harbour. An important historical monument, La Batería de Santa Barbara is also a lovely place to stroll, enjoy the magnificent views, and watch the sunset.
Having conquered Tenerife, the Spaniards embarked on a significant coastline development. From 1502, Puerto de la Cruz was the main seaport. The port of Garachico was used for the same purpose until the rampaging Teide almost completely destroyed it in the early 18th century.
With the arrival of the Spanish, agriculture, especially sugarcane cultivation, flourished in Tenerife. In addition to sugar production, the wine industry also flourished.
The island of Tenerife traded with numerous European countries and constantly expanded its markets. But, in those days, along with the maritime trade, piracy also flourished.
The economic success and wealth of Tenerife became a target for pirates.
In order to protect themselves from pirate attacks, the island authorities had to fortify the coastlines. For this purpose, in the 18th century the Spaniards built La Batería de Santa Bárbara fort in Puerto de la Cruz.
The structure consisted of a gunpowder warehouse, several cannons, and a guardhouse. The foundation of the battery was built of stones which made it impregnable. Even pirate riffles couldn’t destroy the fort, leaving only potholes in the wall.
The barracks on the north side of the building were designed for six soldiers who were permanently stationed there to be on guard. In the late 18th century, the fortress was fortified again.
The fortification was rebuilt and restored in the following years and has survived to this day in excellent condition.
Piracy ceased at the beginning of the 20th century, so La Batería de Santa Bárbara Fort fulfilled its main function and successfully defended the island against pirates for many years.
Today the Santa Bárbara Battery is a fascinating historical monument open to the public. Now, as you stroll along the promenade, you can take in the view of both the fort and its ancient cannons, as well as the ocean below.
On the rounded platform inside the complex, two ancient cannons stand at the loopholes as if ready to repel an attack. Two more cannons are in the centre on an elevated platform. They show signs of rust, the ravages of time.
The darkened walls of the structure are made of large stones and suggest a respectful attitude towards the battles that used to be fought from here.
In some places, the stones are badly worn or mechanically damaged, but overall the municipality monitors the technical condition of the site.
The top platform provides a magnificent view of the seaport.
Visiting hours: Open 24/7
Price: Free of charge
How to get there:
Calle Las Lonjas, 3, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
GPS coordinates: 28.418384, -16.549627
Getting there by bus:
The nearest stop is Plaza del Charco, Route (Titsa) no.: 381, 382