It is part of the Santa Cruz coastal battery, the one that helped defeat Horacio Nelson when on July 25, 1797 the English wanted to make the island an enclave under the British flag. More than two centuries later (this year marks the 225th anniversary of that feat), the City Council of Santa Cruz wants to open a space in the city dedicated to the Gesta of July 25 and, for this, proposes that it be the High Pass Castle the one that becomes a kind of museum that houses the history of this battle, and that, in addition, serves as the headquarters for the Historical-Cultural Gesta Association of July 25, 1797.
For this, the Consistory has addressed the General Directorate of State Heritage requesting the transfer of the property called Paso Alto battery. As can be read in the request for the transfer of this space, the City Council argues that, after the execution of several initiatives in the vicinity of the Avenida Marítima, which have led to the provision of a larger area for neighborhood participation, leisure, sport and culture, and that it is intended to continue the revitalization of the aforementioned area with the execution of the Parque de la Gesta, recovering the Paso Alto battery would allow this revitalization to continue, since “it would be an attractive resource for neighbors, visitors and tourists”.
In addition, the Consistory details that, on February 2, 2022, the Historical-Cultural Association Gesta of July 25 requested a place for its headquarters, noting that “the aforementioned entity has been declared of public interest by the City Council of Santa Cruz” and that, “given the evidence that for this group of historical-cultural nature the property is suitable for its direct relationship with the historical events that have been commemorated since the aforementioned Association”, the assignment is requested.
The mayor of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Bermúdez, hopes that the Government of Spain agrees to this transfer, “which is caused by the intention of this group of Government to recover those heritage elements that are part of the history of the city, recover them , rehabilitate them and put them to use”. “In this case -he continued- a double objective is also met, by fully responding to a request from the association that seeks to have a permanent physical space that will become the headquarters for the dissemination of one of the fundamental historical milestones of this capital”
On the part of the mayor of Heritage, Juan José Martínez, pointed out that “we have made this request to incorporate the property into the municipal heritage and give it a use that is compatible with the environment and linked to the history of the city.”
Paso Alto Castle, from an effective defense against Nelson to a dark military prison in 1936
Paso Alto Castle participated effectively against Nelson’s attack. The English Squad dropped more than 41 bombs on the castle and only one of them fell in the kitchen, while another exploded inside the chapel, where a crucifix was found, without causing the slightest damage. It is from here that the story of the miraculous Christ was forged, since the painting of the Christ of Paso Alto was exhibited in the chapel. The Paso Alto Castle was also used as a dungeon for the Tenerife pirate known as Cabeza de Perro and was also a military prison in the Civil War to confine Republicans, including the last Republican mayor, José Carlos Schwartz.