Moraira Castle is a small oceanfront fort located in the town of Moraira, in Teulada, Alicante, Spain. It sits on a rocky elevation overlooking the sea and dominates the Ampolla beach along with the entire bay of Moraira.
It was built in the 18th century when the mayor of Calpe asked that the town be fortified in order to safeguard the Teuladina coast, which was continually invaded by Barbary pirates. Over the entrance of the fort you can see the royal coat of arms of the house of the Bourbons, which is dated 1742, possibly the year it was completed and it was used up until the mid 19th century.
The Barbary pirates, or Ottoman corsairs, were Muslim pirates from North Africa who targeted maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea from the time of the Crusades. They focused on ships traveling to Asia and the main objective of their attacks was to capture female Christian slaves for the Ottoman slave trade. They captured thousands of ships and from the 16th to 19th century an estimated 800,000 to 1.25 million people were sold on the Muslim slave market.
They also raided Europe ‘s seaside towns and villages, along the coasts of Italy, France, Spain and Portugal leaving large stretches of eastern Spain and Italy abandoned by their inhabitants until the 19th century.
The building, which until a few years ago lay in complete ruin, was restored at the beginning of the 1980s matching the original state on the outside. It features a bull’s-foot floor plan, with a semicircular facade facing south: the entrance is to the north. A half-round impost marks the point between the body of the building and the roof which is protected by a small wall that has seven arrow-shaped openings, where cannons were placed.