View from the Bateria de Castillitos

View from the Bateria de Castillitos

View from the Bateria de Castillitos, Mazarrón, Spain.

View from the Bateria de Castillitos, Mazarrón, Spain.

Castillitos Battery, locally known as Batería del Castillitos, lies on the ridge of a cape above the sea, west of the city of Cartagena in the province of Murcia in Spain.

WW I had resulted in huge technological advances, which rendered the defenses of Cartagena obsolete. Cartagena then already was the headquarters and main military port of the Spanish Navy. So in 1926 a Defense Plan called for the construction of a new defense system, compromising the building of tens of new fortifications around Cartagena, giving it full protection against attacks from sea and air.

Cabo Tiñoso, a cape some 25 kilometers from Cartagena, was amongst the sites chosen to be used. On the ridge of this cape were built 3 batteries; Atalayón, Castillitos and Jorel. Castillitos Battery was built between 1933 and 1936, on the ridge between Atalayon and Jorel some 250 meters above sea level. It was an anti shipping battery armed with two massive Vickers 381 mm 45 caliber anti shipping guns. They had a reach of about 35 kilometers. The only other battery near Cartagena armed with these guns was Cenizas Battery to the east.

The battery was deliberately built into the top of the ridge to render it invisible from the sea. For the buildings of this battery the builders used a style of eclectic modernism, decorating them with crenellations and towers like a medieval castle.

At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 Castillitos Battery was almost operational, only lacking its fire-control system. In 1937 it fired one shot against a Nationalist squadron, and the knowledge of the havoc the guns could wreak was enough of a deterrent to ensure that they were not required to take part in further combat. With the passing of time the guns became obsolete and the battery was decomissioned in 1994. It was subsequently dismantled and abandoned. The two Vickers guns remained. In 2010/2011 it was somewhat restored. It is still owned by the Ministry of Defense.

At present Castillitos Battery can freely be visited. From the hamlet of Campillo de Adentro you can drive, over the old very winding military road and through some great mountainous scenery, up to a small parking lot almost at the entrance of the battery. A very nice place with lots of rooms, passages and tunnels to explore and of course offering great views.

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