Spain

Tour of the fortress of La Mola

Or one of the most beautiful fortresses in Europe

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Tour of the fortress of La Mola
Inserted: 21.09.2022
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com
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The fortress of La Mola, named after Queen Isabella II, is located in the east of Menorca. The Spanish built it here between 1848 and 1852, after the demolition of Fort San Felipe. However, before it was completed, it unfortunately became obsolete. It was originally intended to protect the approach to Mahon Harbor to prevent British and French ships from supplying. It served as a military prison during the Franco dictatorship, is still used by the Spanish Navy and is open to tourists.

Arrival at the fortress

After the demolition of Fort San Felipe, the island was without any protection. For that reason, the Spanish proceeded to build a new fort on the opposite shore of the bay at the port of Mahon.

Arrival at the fortress
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Respect before entering

Even before we pass through the gate into the interior of the fortress, we are faced on all sides by massive walls studded with loopholes. We haven't even entered the fortress yet and we are already amazed by its size.

Respect before entering
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Entrance to the fortress

After purchasing the entrance fee, it is possible to walk through the fortress independently according to the plan with individual points. The route can be shortened to about 1.5 hours, or you can extend it and actually go through the entire fortress. A longer route will take 3 or more hours. In the heat here, a tour of the entire fortress is very difficult and you need to have plenty of water. However, there are vending machines with drinks and toilets scattered around the area, so it can be managed even without large supplies. First, the sightseeing circuit takes us to the side walkway.

Entrance to the fortress
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Courtyard

A side walk surrounds a smaller courtyard. The fortress is named after Queen Isabel II, who visited the fortress here. The fort here was in operation even before its complete completion.

Courtyard
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Cannons

Historic cannons and batteries from the Civil War are located in the corridor.

Cannons
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

View

The fortress is located on a rocky outcrop, so it offers a perfect view of the surrounding area.

View
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Underground corridors

A large part of the tour of the main part of the fortress is located in underground spaces full of embrasures. During the tour, one really goes through the fortress.

Underground corridors
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Harbor mouth

In addition to the underground areas, you can of course also reach the castle grounds, from which you can see not only the fortress itself, but also the mouth of the Mahon harbor.

Harbor mouth
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Gate of Isabella II.

The fortress is divided into several parts. You can read something about each of them on the information boards in several languages.

Gate of Isabella II.
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Lazaretto

Even such a large fortress cooperated with smaller fortresses in the vicinity. From the walls you can also see the so-called Lazareto on the island in the bay of the Mahon port. It was really an infirmary where people arriving in Europe were kept and quarantined for 40 days until it was proven that they were not infected with any disease. It was precisely the Lazareto that was built from material from the dismantled San Felipe fortress.

Lazaretto
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Entrance to the ditch

The massiveness of the buildings here is impressive. There are shooting holes on every building here in all directions.

Entrance to the ditch
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com
Endless corridors
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Endless corridors

We enter the underground again, into the corridor for shooting with rifles. The corridors here seem quite endless.

Fortification

When we reach the surface again, we can admire the way the fortress was built into the slope and the fortifications in several rows.

Fortification
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Tower

The fort has been abandoned for a long time and some parts have already been significantly affected by the ravages of time.

Tower
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Barracks

The huge barracks are the dominant feature of the area. Since they are empty and rapidly decaying, they now have a ghostly feel to them.

Barracks
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Military prison

In more recent history, one of the barracks served as a prison for political prisoners. The fortress of La Mola thus witnessed sad events.

Military prison
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Ammunition depot

The sightseeing circuit leads past a small ammunition depot.

Ammunition depot
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Vickers guns

A relic of the Spanish Civil War at La Mola Fort is then two Vickers cannons. During the civil war, the local cannons fired only twice, thereby repelling the attack on Menorca.

Vickers guns
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Vickers guns

Although the Vickers cannon is located in the most remote part of the fortress, it is definitely worth seeing, if only for its respectable size. The cannons are still functional.

Vickers guns
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com

Way back

On the way back, we take a direct route back to the entrance past unspecified dilapidated buildings that probably served as a background. Touring the La Mola fortress is more challenging, but definitely worth it. Even local history buffs speak of it as the island's historical pride, and they are right.

Way back
Author: Terka Petingerová © gigaplaces.com
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