The Fort of San Juan (Castillo de San Juan/Fort of St John) is in the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz, and is also known locally as the Castillo Negro (Black Castle) due to being a short distance from a small black sand beach known as La Caleta de los Negros.
It was built in 1765 in order to prevent enemies from disembarking onto the aforementioned beach, which jeopardised the island’s safety. It was also built after the outbreak of various revolutions in Portugal and Catalonia, which threatened the integrity of the Crown of Castile.
First line of defence for the Canary Islands
It played a key role in the victory over Horatio Nelson’s troops, who, in the name of the British Royal Family, tried to take the city and conquer the Archipelago.
As a result of the battle, the British troops lost 349 of around 4000 soldiers, and were left with over 100 injured, including Nelson himself, who lost an arm in the conflict. On the other side, the Spanish cohort lost just 32 soldiers and just over 40 were injured.
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