This doughty bastion helped fend off Sir Francis Drake and other marauders, and now teaches about the city and the sea.

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Mata Fort

A 16th-century fort with a 21st-century history museum

A later addition to Las Palma's defensive network, built in 1614. the Castillo de Mata, located in the Triana district next to Gran Canaria's Cabildo (administration headquarters) takes its name from the term "casemate", meaning a fortified structure from which weapons were fired. It was part of the old city wall, playing an essential role in warding off attacks from bucaneers and privateers including Sir Francis Drake. These days the fully restored stone structure also sports a modern annex, and visitors can learn more about the the fort's and city's history in the Museum of the City and the Sea; guided tours can be arranged by appointment. And if you're lucky you may also catch a historical re-enactment of the rough-and-tumble days of yore.

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