Castillo del Mar Spendenaktion

The history of the Castillo del Mar


The Empaquetadora de plátanos, Pescante or Castillo are the names of the little embarkation point which since 1890 has been situated on the cliffs by the beach of Vallehermoso, right in the Atlantic. Here, in the north of the island all sorts of goods, especially bananas, were packed for loading from the wooden construction , which was lying on three stone pilars, onto the steam boats.


The Castillo was in these times the most important place for dispatching goods and Vallehermoso the merchandise centre of the island. It was in 1910 that the first car on the island landed here. Right above the cliffs was the main office to superwise all the mercantile transactions. Everything that went out or came in was registered here in the books. In a fortification on the right hand side there were canons to protect the mercantile platform against pirate attacks.


The workers were mostly women, whose agile hands worked to transform this golden product into a valuable export. The little bananas with their unique apple aroma were much aprecciated in mainland markets. It is said that amongst all hard work more than one baby was born there and that this was a cause for celebration. No more bananas were packed that day. In the 1950s commercial activity at the Castillo ended and it fell into disuse. Rockfalls shortly after covered the access road.


In 1981 Thomas K. Müller bought the old harbour construction from Don Eugenio Pérez, but because of the access problems it was impossible to start restauration immediately. Only when the north of La Gomera was included in a revitalising proyect was the broken street leading to the Castillo opened up again. Disgracefully this gave vandalism as well a chance - nature stone walls were destroyed, the wooden ceilings burned and many other things were thrown into the sea. To save this precious historic building important steps had to be taken immediatelly.


On May 1st 2001 the first working phase began. The difficult work was undertaken by local builders. Specialists in natural stone wall constructions rebuilt the main entrance with ist staircase, stone by stone. Then all the stone walls which had been the protection against the wild sea as well as the pirates were rebuilt. With these steps the first fase of reconstruction was finished and the base for the following termination was laid.