World Bulletin / News Desk
Fort Santa Cruz was built by the Spanish between 1577 and 1604 on the Pic d'Aidour above the Mediterranean Sea's Gulf of Oran, at an elevation of over 400 meters.
Standing next to it is a small chapel, known as the Chapel of Santa Cruz.
Atop the chapel is a stately tower bearing a large statue of the Virgin Mary, said to be a replica of the one that adorns the Notre Dame del la Garde, a neo-Byzantine Catholic basilica in Marseilles.
An original fort on the site was built by the Ottomans. But after they were defeated by the Spanish in the 16th Century, the latter rebuilt the fort, dubbing it Fort Santa Cruz, which was used to accommodate Oran city governors.
The Spaniards ruled Oran for about 300 years until 1792, during which time the fort city continued to grow, requiring the expansion of its walls.
According to history researcher Boumediene Diab, the Ottoman army briefly liberated Oran from the Spanish in 1708.
"The Ottomans later established palaces, schools and mosques in the city," he told AA.
Local authorities in Oran are doing everything they can to maintain the historic fort, which has become one of the city's main tourist attractions.
An Oran Culture Department official voiced hope that the building would soon undergo renovations aimed at preserving its architectural peculiarities.Last Mod: 07 Şubat 2014, 11:20