In 1573, by order of Don Agustín de Herrera y Rojas, a fortress was built on the small island off the coast; the interior was made completely out of wood and it had a battery of four pieces: one in bronze and three in cast iron. The savage attack by Morato Arraez in 1586 clearly showed that the 40 feets long walls, and barely three feets high, were not enough to repel an invasion from the sea.
After these events, in 1591, Leonardo Torriani arrives at the island and begins to plans to improve the defences of Arrecife. The project included the building of a cobble stone road linking the fortress with the islet of the Herrera pier, and from it, by way of a drawbridge, with the near coast of Arrecife. The road was walled on both sides, with three cannon batteries and gangways, but no merlons, placed between the Castle and the Herrera pier. (The original Torriani project included other features that were never put into effect)
The Puente de las Bolas (Bridge of the Balls) consisted of two pre-Elizabethan columns with quadrangular tops on which two balls rest, and the cobble stone road was 175 metres in length. The improvements affected the castle itself, and the burned wooden interior had to be replaced with rubblework, its walls reinforced and two batteries installed on top; one looking in the direction of the bay of Arrecife, and the other, on the eastern corner, towards the sea, watching over the ledge of rocks of Juan Rejon. On the western bastion a beautiful belfry was built, replicating the pre-Elizabethan style of the columns at Puente de las Bolas.
The Prior of the Miraflores convent in Teguise, Brother Juan de San Francisco, donated the bell to sound the alarm or the call to arms.

Album with photographs of San Gabriel Castle



Esta pagina ha sido realizada por Sarabel y Chino.

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