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Castles and towers

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Fort de Bèrnia

It is situated in the mountain range of Bèrnia, with its peak, at an altitude of 1,128 metres above sea level, being the highest of La Marina Alta.

In the heart of the mountain range stand the preserved remains of a fortification of the 16th century designed to protect the settlement and the territory from the attacks of Barbary pirates. During the 16th century, the coasts of the whole of the Kingdom of Valencia and its boats were severely affected by piracy. Moreover, the coastal settlements suffered night attacks and kidnapping of their residents.

The fear escalated to the point that King Felipe II ordered the construction of fortifications all along the coast and, especially, in the places more vulnerable to attacks, as in the case of this region.

Even the morisco population of the interior (descendents of Muslims) was not allowed entry to the settlements of the coast, “sota pena de galera” (under threat of imprisonment in the galleys).

The fort of Bèrnia was constructed in 1562 by the Italian engineer Giovanni Battista Antonelli, also in charge of the construction of other towers along the Valencian coast.

The history of this fortification was very short. The son of Felipe II, Felipe III, ordered its demolition in 1612 for two reasons: the first being that it had not turned out very useful for the defence of the coast due to it being positioned far away, and the second so as to avoid the possibility of it being used by the enemy to strengthen its positions inland.

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