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One of the most symbolic Augusta attractions is Porta Spagnola, or Spanish Gate. The construction of this gate dates to the 17th century, during the Spanish occupation of the city. The fortifications of the city, of which Porta Spagnola was a part, were constructed by the viceroy Benavides in an attempt to protect the “Catholic nature” of the island. The gate was the main entrance point into the city and it was reached via one of two drawbridges that were constructed after the destruction of the isthmus connecting the city to the mainland, carried out for security reasons.

On the top of the gate, you can see two rearing gryphons that are holding up a frame, surmounted by the crown of Charles II of Spain. The coat of arms of the viceroy is also present. The gate has endured for centuries against wars and battles, though it was damaged during a 1990 earthquake. It was renovated in 2005 and the stones and marble of which it is made were brought back to their original glory.

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