The Polvorín de la Reina in the Fortress of La Mola

The image illustrated in this article corresponds to the Polvorín de la Reina, an interesting building located inside the La Mola enclosure.

Precisely on December 4, the feast of Santa Bárbara was celebrated, the patron saint of the professions that handle explosives (due to the legend of lightning) and especially of the miners. In fact, in the Asturian Mining Basins they dedicate a hymn called Santa Bárbara Bendita.

Although the traditional invocation of Santa Bárbara has been taken for granted since the beginning of the existence of the Spanish artillerymen, the oldest known document that cites his patronage over them is from the year 1522. The first reference to the public devotion and worship to Santa Bárbara in Spain dates back to the year 1248 and refers to the conquest of Alicante and its castle by Don Alfonso (later Alfonso X el Sabio) on December 4 of that year. Almost from the birth of medieval artillery, and probably due to the intervention of the destroyer beam in the story of their martyrdom, European artillerymen took refuge in the patronage of Santa Bárbara.

Santa Bárbara is also a protector of lightning and storms, as well as the patron of stonemasons and those who handle explosives. That is why the powder kegs were called “the Santa Bárbara”.

If you want to visit the Polvorín de la Reina and the entire La Mola Fortress during the Christmas holidays, it is necessary to send an email to info@fortalesalamola.com because during these dates only arranged visits are allowed.

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