WIT Press

Rehabilitating, Repairing And Restoring Against Demolishing, Tearing Down And Destroying: The Recovery Of The Military Fort For The Santa Pola Town Museum


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Page Range

25 - 37




2,334 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. Martínez-Medina, P. J. Juan Gutiérrez


This communication develops the process of interventions of the Renaissance fortress of a new plant built in 1554–57 in Santa Pola. It is one of the earliest examples built with reference to military architecture theoretical treaties (XV–XVI) and best preserved. The study runs its own story from its initial military use, through the use of civil equipment until the final cultural and Museum Center. First, the project of Italian origin is examined and its use as barracks for troops for a duration of three centuries (1557–1850), pointing out the architectural constants of war machinery in a defense position and its origin as a rainwater collector and cistern: a perfect square with two bastions in which a plan of the uprising is preserved (1778). Secondly, we study the changes in the mentioned architecture throughout a century and a half (1850–1990) after its change of ownership (from the state to the municipality), and as a result of the new use as a city hall and public endowment: a market and health and leisure centre, which meant the demolition of defensive elements and the opening up to the outside of the inner parade ground. And thirdly, the new transfer of the municipal offices brings in the beginning of a project of transformations (1990–2015) that retrieves the demolished elements at the same time as it assigns the entire fort for a cultural centre: exhibition, research and history museum, promoting the identity between the citizens and the building which stands in the foundations of their city. The conclusions take us through an interesting route that goes from the approach of defensive tactics, its use as administrative headquarters to the current cultural policy of preservation. In addition, all the known plans of the fort are recovered (of military, civil and cultural use), some unpublished, as well as the project of the North wing that has guided the last operation and which has been set as a pattern of reference.


Renaissance fortresses, military architecture, heritage rehabilitation, Santa Pola museum