Time has consumed the "Fortin de la Magdalena" but not their stories
Historical places have a very particular energy; when I'm in one I observe the wear and tear of the structures and I think of all the events that supposedly happened there, so I am surprised to be standing just in the place of what happened so many years ago.
I know the Fortin de la Magdalena since I was a little girl, when I was going to Cerro El Morro to fish with my father, and it has always been impossible for me to ignore that colonial structure that rises in the heights of the hill when I walk along its banks. It's strange to be in the middle of nature and find something like that in a place that practically has no population.
This building has 219 years of being built; the history of the region indicates that since 1799 it was used as a military fort, but in spite of its physical wear and tear, its histories are still intact, transmitted from generation to generation.
It's a free access site that can be reached by walking through the back of El Morro, through a road that was once asphalted and allowed the passage of cars, but is now hindered by landslides and vegetation.
The Fortin de la Magdalena is one of the tourist attractions of Anzoategui, and despite the state of the road is still visited by locals and tourists, attracted mainly by the impressive view that is revealed from there to the Caribbean Sea and the coasts of Barcelona.
It's even thanks to that privileged view that the most popular story about the function of this fort was developed, and from there more legends were shared, including battles, pirates, slaves and treasures.
⏳ Stories harvested in time
The historical records of the region indicate that the castle was built at the time of the colony by the Spaniards with the purpose of defending our coast from the attack of the pirates, who came to dock the port that was at the mouth of the River Neveri in the sea.
Even, from the Fortin it is possible to observe how the brown water of the river mixes with the blue water of the beach, and that is very curious because both waters share the same space but don't join.
Every time I hear that story I wonder if all that historical scene was like in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, I would love to know if from this side of the world the pirates and the soldiers looked and acted like the ones in the movie, and if they used the same ships and weapons.
The truth of all this is that the location of the castle is really strategic, from that point no boat could pass without being seen, the only way would be moving in a submarine; The entire coast of the state capital is visible from there.
History also tells that this place was left in ruins after several battles developed in that land, however, years ago the Fortin de la Magdalena was restored, preserving the essence of the structure. But to that restoration the years have also taken their toll.
The castle consists of two buildings that are divided into three rooms and a kitchen. In all its extension, concrete and stones predominate in the elaboration of floors, walls and walls.
Those walls were once white, but among tourists, time and bats made it just a memory. Some unconscious people scratched the spaces, with time the paint was worn away and the bats left their excrement on the walls and soil.
In general, the rooms have large windows, tall and with wooden frames, I imagine that at the time the population was high, because definitely those windows were not for people of 1.57 centimeters of height like me; to be able to look out I must stand on tiptoe.
From inside you can see that the roof of the castle is made of wood; the bases are thick trunks but the rest are thin poles stacked. While the outer part is covered by tiles, a typical style of that time.
What most attracts my attention throughout the structure are its doors, bars and locks. Because of the worn and rusty look they indicate that they have been placed there for many years, and perhaps of all that makes up the Fortin this could be the oldest.
The keys they used for that then insurance were large, very different from the ones we currently use. The holes in the locks are wider than usual.
My dad is a cabinetmaker and he told me that probably the wood they used for the doors and window frames of the place is Carob tree. In his experience he explained that this is one of the most durable types of wood that exist, and it is possible that it remains intact despite the sun and saltpeter it receives.
The Fortin de la Magdalena also has two pits on one end, which they used to serve as water tanks, although as a child I heard that they were used to house the prisoners of the soldiers and even to take their lives.
These pits are built with concrete and stones, and are approximately four meters deep. Observing the structure well, any of the two theories about its use could be true, because its form lends itself to both uses.
Although personally I would be more inclined towards the first idea, because there are no traces of pipes anywhere, there is not even a bathroom, so they would need to store fresh water.
As in every military fort in this castle there were also canyons that were located between the stone barrier that borders the place, delimiting at the same time the passage towards the ravine with which it limits.
However there are no cannons there, now that space is used by visitors as seats to better contemplate the amazing landscape seen from the Fortin.
That barrier was only built in the back, while the front of the place is protected by a fence made of trunks with a sharp point.
Of all the legends that are still heard about the Fortin de la Magdalena the most intriguing of all is the one that ensures that somewhere in the entire castle is hidden a treasure that belonged to the Spanish.
Presumably in the years after his burial several excavations were made to try to find the treasure but nobody succeeded. And if we see the positive side, that has not been found keeps us in the expectation of whether we are standing on a gold mine or not, and that adds value to the castle.
Historical tourism isn't my favorite but I like it a lot because being in a place with history is like approaching the facts, it's like living that energy yourself. I love the myths and legends of these places, as long as they last in time so the structures fall out the attraction for the place will still be alive.
📷 All the photographs are of my authorship and were captured with a Canon Rebel EOS T2i camera and a Siragon Xtreme CX-5000.