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A 15th-century fortress built on the edge of a volcano, its pirate museum will shiver your timbers

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Santa Bárbara Castle

A pirate museum in a onetime anti-pirate fort

Up the coast from Arrecife on the Costa Teguise is another of Lanzarote's fortresses to defend against pirates. The Castillo de Santa Bárbara y San Hermenegildo (also known as the Castillo de Guanapay, in honour of the volcano in the edge of whose crater it was built) dates from the 15th century, starting out as a defensive tower and growing into a full-blown fortress that would not only defend against pirate attacks - which targeted both the local population to take slaves as well as ships arriving with cargo from the Americas - but shelter the local people during said attacks. The defensive utility of Guanapay Castle fell off in the 17th century as new military installations came online, and it was even abandoned for years. Today it houses the swashbuckling Museum of Piracy - arggh!



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