castillo de Santa Cruz

The Castle of Santa Cruz is part of the strongholds and defence systems built in the last stretch of the Miño river during the Independence War between Spain and Portugal in the 17th century. The fortress, popularly known as “castle”, was erected around 1664, to speed up the construction, they took stones from the medieval wall that surrounded the town. The plant is an irregular polygon, with four bastions standing out from the main wall. On these bastions are placed the bartizans well worked in stone.

In the courtyard there was the chapel, the governor’s house, the headquarter for the troops, stables, warehouses, munitions dump, butchery, etc. those facilities are detailed on the preserved plans, though we haven’t kept them physically.

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The current construction is a replica of the watchtower with circular plant and set in the port, rebuilt in 1997. It had been demolished in 1945 to allow the stretching of the large nets used by the fishing boats and for take the stone and use it to construct the dock. When the Portuguese troops took the Castle of Santa Cruz (1665-1668) in the course of the Independence War, they also occupied the Atalaia and probably refurbished it. It was used equally as a defence element against the pirate attacks. It appears in A Guarda’s coat of arms since 1844.

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Muralla medieval

There are a quite few references and documents recording the ancient rampart, probably medieval, of which are still kept discontinuous stretches in Ireira street and Muro (wall) street. Ávila y la Cueva, in the 19th century, described it as a small rampart, without temples and a few neighbours within, round-shaped and not too much strong. Inside was the old Hospital of Poor meanwhile the current Council stayed out of it. It had two entrances, one nearby the Council buildings and the current square and another one on the stairway that is going down to the Convent of San Benito.