The Castillo de San Marcos is one of the great monumental and tourist attractions of Puerto de Santa María in the province of Cádiz. A building that summarizes in itself a large part of the history of this city of Cadiz, and that also tells us about its present based on tourism. Let’s discover much more about this spectacular monument.
The Castle of San Marco
Before telling you details of the historical ups and downs that have occurred in the Castillo de San Marcos, we are going to talk about its current state. This is important, to know what awaits us when we visit it.
And it is that Today this monument is private property, and its owners, a prestigious winery company.are the ones that have made it visitable and if you wish you can taste their wines as part of the visit.
But in addition to the tourist use of the monument, the Castillo de San Marcos also becomes the perfect environment to celebrate various cultural and gastronomic events. Without forget the music concerts that make up the program of the old music festival of Puerto de Santa María.
The history of the monument
As with many other medieval monuments, before being Christian buildings they were Muslim. And the same thing happens with the Castillo de San Marcos in Puerto de Santa María. Before King Alfonso X the Wise ordered its transformation, it had been a mosque.
In fact, the old qibla oriented towards Mecca is still kept inside.just as it has many parts of Almohad architecture, as occurs in other Andalusian monuments such as the Giralda in Seville itself.
Nevertheless, when King Alfonso X of Castile arrived, he decided to transform the mosque into a fortress church. For this, he included the towers and various chapels. A typical construction of the spirit of the Reconquest that inspired the actions of this monarch who managed to expand his territories through the lands of Andalusia and Murcia.
The truth is that for a time the medieval church that was in the Castillo de San Marcos was very important. And the most outstanding personalities who visited Puerto de Santa María passed through here, and even many who went to neighboring Cádiz decided to come here.
The list of illustrious visitors would be very long. But we are going to mention two very interesting ones. One is known to all: Christopher Columbus, who passed through here before embarking on his wonderful epic that would take him to cross the Atlantic and discover the American continent.
And also related to those mythical navigations, we have to mention Juan de la Cosaa cartographer who participated in the voyages of Columbus and who became the first person who made the maps of those unknown territories.
In fact, in the Castillo de San Marcos he is remembered with the replica of a map that the navigator made thereand that today is kept in one of the most unknown and interesting museums in Madrid: the Naval Museum.
More attractions of Puerto de Santa María
In short, if you visit Puerto de Santa María soon, sign up to enter the Castillo de San Marcos, one of its most special and spectacular monuments. A journey through history that cannot have a better ending than savoring the wines of Bodegas Caballero, owners of the building.
And with that good taste in your mouth, you can now dedicate yourself to touring the rest of the city of Cadiz, where places such as the Basilica of Our Lady of Miracles await you, the different palace houses that open their patios and halls for various cultural and tourist uses. .
Or of course you should enter the headquarters of the Rafael Alberti Foundation, the great poet born in this town in 1902, and who died in Puerto de Santa María in 1999, after a life full of verses and political action.
In short, when this long confinement forced by COVID-19 is over, sign up as a possible destination for this city in the province of Cádiz, and once there, do not miss its Castillo de San Marcos.