Time seems to have stopped inside the High Pass Castle. Its empty rooms allow one to imagine the echo of the bombs that fell between its walls in 1797 launched by the British, with Nelson at the head, and that, according to the chronicles of the time, not a single one reached the Cristo del Buen Paso who presided over the chapel altar. Even the remains of one of those that were launched and not opened are preserved in the Almeyda Military Museum.
Some remains that could be part of the future museum that the Santa Cruz City Hall wants to open in this enclave of the chicharrero coast and that, since last February, has already passed into municipal hands, after the State has ceded its property to the City Council.
It is also easy to imagine the prisoners who were once held within its walls, such as the pirate Cabeza de Perro or the Republican mayor José Carlos Schwartz, the last place he was seen alive. Yesterday, the mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez, accompanied by the Councilor for Heritage, Juan José Martínez; the president of the Asociación Histórico Cultural Gesta del 25 de Julio, Andrés Méndez, and the official chronicler and member of the Gathering Friends of 25 de Julio, José Manuel Ledesma, visited the castle to check the state in which it is located and that, According to Bermúdez, there is an intention to use it immediately while the rehabilitation project is being prepared.
“The first thing we have to do is sit down to see the use plan that the space allows. The next step will be to commission the project, in which we will have to address issues such as accessibility. In the meantime, as far as possible, we’re going to do things here. The first thing is to do cleaning and maintenance tasks and for Parks and Gardens to come in to clean up the gardens, ”he explained.
The three ships that are under the square where the replicas of the cannons that defended the military battery were located, which are also intended to return, are closed with gates and their respective padlocks. In order to open one of them, wedged in by the passage of time, a well-aimed kick from the mayor’s escort allowed it to be unblocked and the entourage to enter to check the state of this space, until now in the hands of the State.
In one of them you can see the altar attached to one of the windows, when masses were still given with their backs to the attendees. There are two other ships whose doors are boarded up and it is unknown what may be inside and the state in which they are.
The intention is for the project to collect the history of the Paso Alto castle, from its life as a military battery that defended the city from Nelson’s attack, through its functions as a prison. “Our intention is that the entire history of the castle be collected,” insisted the municipal councilor.
A story that will mean placing a recreation of the Christ of Paso Alto, but also recovering the pilgrimage of San Agustín, which ended in this enclave, or removing the Francoist plaques that appear on its walls and that violate the law of historical memory.