By Anna Ellis • 19 August 2023 • 12:15
Villaricos Castle proudly shows off the results of its refurbishment. Image: Ayuntamiento de Cuevas del Almanzora.
With great pleasure, the Mayor of Cuevas del Almanzora, Antonio Fernandez, has now inaugurated the refurbishment of the Villaricos Castle or Torre Vigia, also known as Torre de Cristal.
Accompanied by residents, visitors and technicians involved in the project, the local authorities cut the ribbon and unveiled the plaque reopening the doors of this important 18th-century defensive bastion, which has been completely renovated.
The project has improved and opened to the public the terrace-viewpoint which until now had been closed due to its poor state of repair.
A curved galvanised steel railing has been installed to make it safer, the paving has been improved and it has been fitted out to enjoy the privileged views afforded by this tower, which is strategically placed for its former function, to watch for possible attacks by sea from pirates and corsairs.
The Castle has also been equipped with an Interpretation Centre of the Defensive Architecture of the Coast, explaining the history of these watchtower constructions in the Levante Almeriense and, in particular, the origin and evolution of the Villaricos Tower.
Among the pieces on display, there is a 1:20 scale model of the castle; three replicas of 18th-century weapons; a historical replica model of a ship; as well as the projection of a 10-minute video and an interactive screen.
The Tourist Information Point (PIT) located on the ground floor of the Tower has been renovated to provide a more comfortable and attractive experience for tourists on the Cuevas coast.
In his speech, the mayor emphasised the objective of the municipal government team is to recover, rehabilitate and disseminate the immense and rich cultural, historical and industrial heritage of the municipality.
“Recovering our heritage means recovering our history, making it known and disseminating it, both to feel proud of what we were and what we are. We want to pursue a better future, a future that necessarily involves sustainability and the quality of our tourist and cultural offer,” the mayor confirmed.
He added: “This project will be followed by another project that will complement the current improvements, and we will do it with another grant that has already been approved.”
The castle has a horseshoe-shaped ground plan and is located next to the mouth of the Almanzora River.
It was built in the 18th century, during the reign of Charles III. It has the same shape as two other twin towers in different parts of the Levante Almeriense coast: the Tower of Macenas (Mojacar) and the Tower of Mesa Roldan (Carboneras).
It was a military post and was later used as a Guardia Civil barracks.
Restored in the 1990s, it is under the protection of the Generic Declaration of the Decree of 22 April 1949 and Law 16/1985 on the protection of the coast.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere north of Alicante on the Costa Blanca with her family for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking. Anna is a news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in the Costa Blanca South area and Almeria. Share your story with her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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