porto-santo-stefano-fortress-Nadia-FondelliAs its name suggests, this fortress was shaped by the Spanish in the late 16th century. It sits right in the heart of Porto Santo Stefano.

Climbing the stone steps up to the Fortezza Spagnola is like walking towards an Egyptian temple, as strange as that sounds. It truly has an ancient, powerful and indestructible vibe that comes from its stone clad walls.

The fortress was impenetrable, succeeding in keeping off enemy attack century after century. It was even used as a strategic garrison during both world wars.

Today the Fortezza Spagnola has undergone a series of renovations in an effort to restore it to its former glory.

Dedicated local craftsmen had to perfect old building techniques to recreate the terraces with their crowning turrets and reshape the long stone entry staircase, which once connected to a wooden drawbridge.

After the renovations were completed, the fortress' military offices and meeting rooms were used to the house the Museo del Mare.

Photo: Nadia Fondelli via Flickr.

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