Sabinilla Castle or Duquesa Castle
The Sabinilla Castle is located just 100 meters from the sea and about 100 meters from the N-340, just few minutes from Duquesa Port, from Duquesa Watchtower and Sabinillas, in the Andalusian municipality of Manilva, Malaga province, Costa del Sol.
Sabinilla Castle is located between two neighborhoods of Sabinillas, San Luis and Castillo, on a wide and extensive beach that is sheltered by low-lying mountains. Its military and defensive function is independent of the existing surveillance watchtower system along the entire coast. It responded to the need to protect this large anchorage near Gibraltar in the years when it was a question, militarily, of recovering it during the war against England due to the so-called “Family Pact”.
In 1767 D. Francisco Paulino, a resident of Seville, paid for its construction, to whom Carlos III as a prize granted the mercy and retribution of the command of a cavalry company. The project is due to the engineer Miguel del Castillo and was built by the master José Vargas.
Moñino in his Geographical Dictionary of 1826 names it referring to the existence of a military detachment, while Madoz in 1846 vacated it. In the 1970s, it served as a home for 16 families, with a total occupancy of 70 people. Although it needs repairs, its condition is quite good.
Access: easily accessed from the N-340 or even walk from Duquesa Port, from San Luis de Sabinillas or the neighborhood El Castillo.
Purpose of the Castle
Military / Defensive
State of Conservation: Good.
Duquesa Castle History
It was built in 1767 during the reign of Carlos III to improve coastal defences and thus impede the continuous landings of pirates and privateers who frequented the coast. Its original designation was “Manilva´s Four Cannon Battery”.
At its initiation it was garrisoned by fifteen infantrymen, seven cavalrymen, five artillerymen, a quartermaster and a chaplain, making a total detachment of twenty nine.
The castle consisted of three distinct parts: a semicurcular battery facing the sea, equiped with four cannons; it was separated from the main body of the building by a fosse (moat).
The main body of the castle is centre don a rectangular Bailey, around which all of the castle´s outbuildings were located. It originally contained a well and an aljibe (wáter-cistern).
The entrance to the building is defended by an angled wall above the main entrance, preceded by a fosse (moat) and drawbridge (now missing).
The whole body of the building has a rampart of embrasures (loopholes) for defence by gunfire.
In the early nineteenth century the arrival of the French in thise lands, and the consequent War of Independence, led the foreign forces to occupy the castle. Fifty of Napoleon´s troops were dispatched to the castle, from where they could control the surrounding main roads.
The guerrillas and Spanish soldiers mounted many engagements against the French detachment in the castle. The forces based therein, and in particular the infantry and cavalry that left the castle to patrol the roads, were harassed constantly.
During this time the castle suffered its only known naval attack, carried out by the Brithish navy against the occupying French troops.
After the capture of Algiers by the French in 1830, piracy in the Mediterranean bécame virtually extinct. This, along with the development of new defensive techniques, meant that the castle had lost its military value.
|1. Revellin (triangular outworks)
2. Vestibule (entrance hall)
6. Cavalry Barracks
7. Artillery Barracks
8. Quartermaster´s Storres
|9. Stables and Barn
11. Commandant´s Office
13. Durgeon (prison)
14. Infantry Barracks
15. Munitions Store
Archaeological Museum of the Duquesa Castle – Manilva
Fish salting factory