Historical - Cultural Route
Duration: From 1 to 2 hours.
Distance: Approx. 2 km.
Leaving the Plaza de España turn to the CASTILLO DE LUNA passing Italia, García López, San Clement streets, all typically narrow and white, with plants pots surrounding the castle built in the Middle Ages.
The CASTILLO DE LUNA, built around a rectangular strcuture with 5 turreted towers, was built in the 18th century on and ANCIENT ARABIC RIBAT as a fortress destined for prayer and defending the neighbouring area.
Its historical importance is reflected in the 247 tiles that form the mural at the Castle entrance. The mural depicts the visit of CATHOLIC MONARCHS in 1477, guests of DON RODRIGO PONCE DE LEÓN.
In the Castle's interior, the patio from the 16th century, maintains the original columns and main banisters as well as the murals painted in MUDEJAR STYLE.
The castle was a hospital and college and was finally restored and put back into use as the seat of the TOWN HALL OF ROTA.
Following this, you can visit the Iglesia de NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA O built under de instructions of DON RODRIGO PONCE DE LEÓN in the 16th century. In the beginning only the central building was erected in a GOTHIC STYLE. Later, in the 17th and 18th century, five jointed chapels were added, the description of which is found on the door of each chapel.
Most notable is the CHOIR, of noble wood realised by DIEGO ROLDAN and the ORGAN, designed by JUAN DE BONO in the 18th century.
Having seen these two monuments, if you turn to the street opposite the main door passing a small arch, you will arrive at the Marine walkway, where some of the most impressive views of the Costilla coastline can be seen with more than 4 km of fine golden sands.
If you continue to the left you will pass in front of the Hotel Duque de Najera to arrive at the Sports Harbour, built in 1992 on the sea. Also on the left is the Town of Rota, protected by its ANCIENT WALL, where you will find a ramp to access the the old part of the town and where you also able to reflect on the ancient PUERTA DE JEREZ, one of the gates in the wall that connected Rota with the aforementioned city. A little further on, you will find the "Mirador de las Almenas", from which can be seen an incredible view of the Rompidillo beach and the Sports Harbour. Behind you is THE PLAZA DE ABASTOS, where the COVENT OF THE HOLY MERCEDARIAN FATHERS was preciously housed, built in the 17th century and where the TORRE DE LA MERCED is the only remaining artefact. Taking the street adjoining the market you will arrive at its main entrance from where you should be able to see the aforementioned tower.
Leaving the market, you will arrive at Calle Veracruz on the left is the arch of the ancient Town Hall. This was the most important gate of the ancient wall, connecting with Sanlúcar and receiving, in those days, the majority of commercial traffic.