The first documented existence of the Castello a Mare (Seaside Castle), in place as a defense at the Cala port, dates back to the 12th Century, although a few relics of preexisting structures have been found. Over the centuries it was modified and enlarged, becoming the Viceroy’s official residence, then head office of the Inquisition, and finally a prison. Being a symbol of the Bourbon dynasty’s power, it came under attack by insurgents during the rise of 1860. Regrettably, in 1922 the castle was almost completely demolished to make room for the new harbor’s buildings. During these works the structures of a 12th-century tower (the so called Norman-Arabic Mastio) reemerged. Recent restorations have also revealed the existence of an ancient Islamic necropolis on the grounds. Once the work of disfiguring modern buildings ceased, the Castello regained its former charm. One of its most imposing structures is the Porta Aragonese (Gate of Aragona), the 14th-century entrance once flanked by the city walls. The remains of the Baluardo di San Pietro (St. Peter’s Bulwark), a circular 15th-century fortified tower, stand to the north. To the opposite side one can enjoy a relaxing view of the historical Cala harbor. During the summer the castle opens at night as a stage for open air concerts and plays.
- Open Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM, Sunday to Sunday from 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM
Attractions & Landmarks, Contemporary