An imposing defensive fortress built in the 17th century to guard against pirate attacks

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Santa Catalina Castle

Pirates ahoy!

The boom experienced by Santa Cruz de la Plama during the 16th century attracted the interest of pirates, which in turn stimulated the construction of major defensive systems. The city was also a major stopover for vessels making the transatlantic crossing, and housed the first Juzgado de Indias, a court which adjudicated issues connected with trade between Spain and its colonies in the Americas (the port, in fact, became the third most-important in the Spanish Empire, after Seville and Antwerp). The city's fortifications came to include various bastions, a wall, and various access portals - though many of these have since disappeared. One that remains is Santa Catalina Castle, built at the end of the 17th century over the remains of another castle. It's a rectangular affair which imitates the San Cristóbal de Santa Cruz Castle on Tenerife, and is a Historic Artistic Monument of Spain.

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