Located in a Roman monument -cryptoportic- from the 1st century AD, whose function was to save the slope of the hill to build the forum, is the municipal archaeological museum. In its valuable collection, which houses remains from the Argaric period to those belonging to the end of the Middle Ages, the grave goods from the Puente de Noy necropolis or the materials found in the salting factory stand out.
The vase of Apophis I, the alabaster vases, the sculpture of the goddess Minerva, the coins struck in the Sexi mint, etc. These are some of the testimonies of the material culture of this ancient city.
Almuñécar Castle is at the top of the hill of San Miguel. It was originally a fortress built by the Phoenicians in the 7th century B.C. Other ancient peoples such as the Greeks and Carthaginians also passed through here. Until the later Romanisation, in the 1st century A.D., when the area was fortified and urbanised, in order to overcome the unevenness of the hill and build the forum, in accordance with the canons imposed by Rome in the Empire.
The oldest part of the castle are two pools or cisterns from the Phoenician period. A cistern, stepped walls and some remains of tombs from a necropolis from the last period of the Western Roman Empire are still preserved from the Roman colonisation.
But without a doubt, those who left the greatest mark on the complex and those who laid the foundations of the castle we know today were the Muslims, from the 11th century onwards. It was also used by the Nasrid dynasty as a place of recreation from the 13th century until the Reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs.
Towards the end of the reign of King Ferdinand the Catholic, and throughout the 16th century, under the reign of Emperor Charles V of Germany and I of Spain, a trench was dug around the castle, forming a moat, a drawbridge was installed and the impressive front entrance with its four imposing circular towers was built.
During the Spanish War of Independence against the French invasion in the 19th century (1805-1812), the building was badly damaged and dismantled by the invaders, as was the usual practice of the Napoleonic army. In addition, in order to defeat the French, British warships bombarded Almuñécar and the castle from the sea, knocking down one of its towers. This leaning turret can still be seen today, to the left of the main entrance.
It later became the municipal cemetery until 1977. Since 1931 it has been considered a National Monument. And since the eighties of the 20th century, with the boom in tourism, restoration work began to restore it to its former glory. It is currently owned by Almuñécar Town Council and is the headquarters of the town’s Historical Museum. It was also declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1993.
It is a spectacular castle, from which you can contemplate beautiful views of the whole of Almuñécar. The main material used in this fortification is stone and rammed earth. The construction system is that of masonry, where the stone is hardly worked. Brick is used only in the most important areas.
Despite all its history, it is the clear image of a medieval Moorish castle. Throughout the building, towers of different shapes proliferate. Parts of the walls and towers are topped with pyramidal battlements.
Worthy of note is the entrance flanked by two cubic structures that served as defences. It is also worth noting that a part of the site was cut off from the sea.
First of all, we must highlight the views that we can enjoy from the Castillo de San Miguel, both of the sea and of the fertile plain and mountains around the city.
In addition, in the centre of the castle is the neoclassical pavilion built in the 18th century, which houses the museum of the history of Almuñécar.
Here you can learn all about the progression of the castle through the centuries, and how each of the cultures that have passed through here have had their impact.
It should also be noted that its valuable collection contains remains from the Argaric period to those belonging to the end of the Middle Ages. Among the most outstanding are: the grave goods from the necropolis of Puente de Noy or the materials found in the salting factory; the vase of Apophis I; the alabaster vases; the sculpture of the goddess Minerva; the coins minted at the mint of Sexi, etc…
Inside you can also enjoy a video showing what times were like during these periods. But if this is not enough for the visitor, there are even more interesting attractions such as tunnels, large rooms built in the towers, and even dungeons used during the Spanish Inquisition where human skeletons can still be seen.