Having a castle in relatively good condition is definitely a bonus; even in Spain where they abound, so Salobreña is on a quest to improve theirs.
Trouble is, a castle isn’t exactly a garden shed when it comes to maintenance & repair costs, so in these times of little money – or owing a lot, which is worse – public funds for such ends are scarce to non-existent.
If that weren’t a difficult enough obstacle, the fact that thieves stripped out all the copper wiring would make lesser mortals despair, but not the new Mayor of Salobreña – he’s on a mission.
Recently, the Seaside Gazette reported that the Town Hall had secured a 400,000-euro grant from the Iniciativa Turismo Sostenible programme to be spent on doing up the castle. Although this is great news, the municipality will have to find another 600,000 euros to make it up to the one-million euros … Tricky!
The work will comprise of archeological digs as well as restoration work. The tower that sits over the large fissure in the rocks will be made safe. The parade courtyard will be carefully dug up in search of archeological goodies; the old mill will be restored, the walls strengthened and cannons installed.
All the over-head cables will be buried and the gardens given a face lift, but most importantly, the floodlighting to illuminate the castle at night will be restored. But it’s not just a case of paying the electricity bills, but also of replacing the 500 metres of stolen copper wiring.
There are castles, and there are castles; Castel de Ferro has one in its name but not much in the real-estate sense. Almuñécar has a pretty impressive one, but it is not the main attraction; when people think of Almuñécar, they don’t automatically think of El Castillo de San Miguel, because the town has so many other tourist attractions.
But Salobreña is the castle and the castle is Salobreña; the old town culminates in its upwards white surge into the perched castle, and when it is lit up at night, all travellers using the N-340 where it passes the town cannot help but to notice the castle.
Roughshod and Shortshank remember when they first got here at the beginning of the 80’s, you could phone a number and the castle would be lit up for you and a charge made via your telephone number – great party trick for the Costa Aguilera and Monte Almendros residents… that and the real lion that lived in the castle!
(News: Salobrena, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)