If you have ever been to Benidorm, you will surely know the so-called Balcony of the Mediterranean, one of the most famous viewpoints of the city that separates the two beaches of Levante and Poniente, located on the rocky site of the Tossal de Canfali. If you have done some research, you will also know that this viewpoint is known as “El Castillo”, since the castle of Benidorm was built here for several centuries.
If you don’t know anything about this and you are curious, today we are going to talk to you about this fantastic place, so we will reveal all your doubts.
The origins of the Mediterranean Balcony
As we have said, for several centuries, specifically from the 16th to the 17th century, the castle of Benidorm was built on the site, a fortress that served to defend the population from the numerous attacks of pirates and corsairs.
Of this castle, only a few small samples of its ruins remain today, which can be seen through shallow methacrylate windows in the old castle square.
The last excavations carried out in the area managed to determine that the first occupation of the site dates from the 13th century, but it was not until the 14th century that the fortress was built, which once had two defensive towers, a moat and the wall. In this century the structure was maintained, with the castle organized around a central square.
This castle was erected by the mandate of Admiral Bernat de Sarrià, next to the town around it, as part of the lordship of that family during the second half of the 14th century, dependent on the barony of Polop de la Marina.
The objectives of the fortress were of a strategic-political nature, to defend the coast from pirate attacks and as a commercial and fishing site.
Finally, during the second half of the 16th century the castle was abandoned as its owners could not take care of its maintenance or belong to the crown. Abandoned and ruined it remained until the War of Independence, when it was razed to the ground by a bombardment from the English fleet at the beginning of the 19th century.
How it became a lookout point
During the 20th century, the Plaza del Castillo became a major tourist attraction because of its view of the sea. Thus, the place began to be used as a space to organize cultural and festive activities.
From 1950 onwards, Benidorm underwent a great urban development change, also affecting the square, which had already been conditioned previously from the end of the 19th century until 1928. Later the square was surrounded by the balustrade and the two access doors were made, as well as different remodelling based on the 1928 arrangements, with the cannons also being placed to evoke the military origin of the place.
But going back to the viewpoint itself, on the hill of Canfali, it was joined to what was the castle with a staircase before 1867 according to the records of the time, and later affected by the remodelling of 1928 to acquire, as a whole, the current physiognomy of the place.
And this is how the Balcony of the Mediterranean was born.
The balcony today
Nowadays the Balcony of the Mediterranean has become the tourist enclave par excellence of Benidorm. A unique and iconic place, as the writings of the last century said, that looks out over the Mediterranean as if by magic and has been connected to the old castle magnificently by some stairs and a beautiful maritime style.
The Balcony of the Mediterranean is topped today by a five-light street lamp, making it the perfect place to enjoy the sunrise and sunset, when you can see the sky and water melt into shades of orange and turquoise.
BEvery year Benidorm receives more than four million national and international tourists, being the Balcony of the Mediterranean one of the most visited places. This makes the place full of life with music and the bustle of the people who enjoy the views.
A love lock on the well
If you go back up to the Plaza del Castillo and you haven’t noticed, there is a well decorated in the style of the place that used to be the old cistern. Documents indicate that the castle cistern was located in this area and was also used by the church and the carabineros in the 16th century.
It is in this place, as well as on the railings and handrails of the place, where couples seal their love by placing a lock, as in many other places in the world. The place has the right colours and landscape to become one of the most romantic places in Benidorm.
If you come to Benidorm, don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful places in the city and pay us a visit. We are waiting for you at the Hotel Don Pancho!