The location on Monte Benacantil gives the castle great strategic value. It acquired its name because Prince Alfonso de Castilla took it from the Islamic forces on St. Barbara's day. In the time of Philip II the castle was remodelled. Over the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the castle was bombarded many times. It was opened to the public in 1963, and the same year the two lifts inside the mountain were opened. The castle was divided into three areas: the Torreta, including the former Keep; the intermediate area with the most important apartments, including the Hall of Philip II, the parade ground, etc.; and the lower area, built in the 18th century, including the Revellín del Bon Repós.