La Herradura Castle
La Herradura Castle – Almuñecar
La Herradura shore battery, commonly known as “El Castillo” (the Castle), is a military defensive structure dating back the second half of the 18th century. It was built because the quotidian and terrible pirate attacks in the coastal area of the “New Granada Kingdom”, wich corresponds today to the province of Málaga, Granada and Almeria.
In 1761 King Carlos III orders Marshal Antonio Maria Bucarelli to make a report about the Old Granada Kingdom coastal defensive structures status and actions to be taken for its improvement. The dossier commented on a cavalry station in La Herradura, though it considered the construction of a battery was important, as the cove was a usual residence of corsairs that captured many slaves.
The Granada Coast Ingineering Directo, Jose Crame, performs de original proyect in 1765: a “four cannons battery” in La Herradura as Bucarelly dossier suggested. It was also stipulated that the garrison should be destined to have a proper zone defense:
Infantery: 1 officer, 2 corporals, 12 soldiers
Calvary: 1 corporal, 4 soldiers
Artillery: 1 corporal, 4 soldiers
1 warehouseman, 1 chaplain
Since that moment until now news about the building are few but significant:
In 1821 a Granada Coast Engineering General Office report says that the battery still had the four original cannons but the garrison had diminished and the building needed major repairs.
An ordinance visit (1830) informs us about big changes in a decade: the battery had not useful cannons and it was almost abandoned as there was only a 5 person garrison and its units were being used to keep the local cattle; a clear signal that piracy was not a threat in the Mediterranean Sea anymore.
Shortly after, in 1839, the building will host The Royal Finance Police forces whose mission was the surveillance of coasts and borders, and prevent smuggling.
During the Spanish Civil War the battery, under Republican-flag, was fired at from a National Side ship. We can still see the trace of the impacts.
In 1940 the Royal Finance Police was suspended and its duties were undertaken by the Civil Guard, taking the building as headquarters until 2003.
In 2005 the battery was purchased by the City and restored as an important part of its heritage.