The fortress was built from 1584, in the context of Philippine Dynasty, after the attack of the English privateer Edward Fenton to Santos in December 1583, rejected by Andres Higino, under the command of Admiral D. Diego Flores de Valdes. Its original plan is attributed to Italian military architect Giovanni Battista Antonelli, a member of that armed with artillery and were some pieces of a galleon captured the pirates at the time. Believes that this fortification was of poor construction, not having offered resistance to the attack of the English privateer Thomas Cavendish in 1590. Rejected the attempt to resupply of Admiral Joris van Spielbergen Netherlands, on February 3, 1615, and later the attempted robbery of the French privateer Jean-Francois Du Clerc, who then went to Rio de Janeiro. Went on to command the square in 1702, Captain Luiz da Costa de Siqueira, and its garrison consisted of a mayor and one hundred soldiers. The Letter of regal 11 September 1709 had to increase it, and that of Rio de Janeiro is remetesse caliber artillery for its defense. The Forte da Barra Grande offers a panoramic view of the Port of Santos. Restored by Iphan had the Gunpowder House transformed into a chapel decorated with a giant mosaic panel signed by the artist Manabu Mabe.
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