The Mirador, One of Benidorm´s most famous landmarks is turned into a building site.
Update 08th November - Town Hall confirm re-opening
Town hall sources confirm that Benidorm's famous "Mirador" Headland viewpoint will be open for the public from the start of the fiestas this Saturday November 9th.
The "Parque de Elche" works (Dove park) are also finished today as well.
Update 20th October. The rebuilding has now started. Thanks to Group member Paul Brind for the picture
Update 5th October
Benidorm will leave visible part of the archaeological remains of the Castell
The works will be finished before November 30 and will allow to viability of the wall canvases of the 14th and 16th centuries, among others
The Castell will recover its balustrade and pergola after the excavation works
The well-known enclave will reveal the most important remains of the old wall and castle through floor and glass railings - The City Council plans to reopen the square in December.
This was stated yesterday by Mayor Antonio Pérez, who explained that this balustrade, which dates from the end of the 20s, will be replaced "in the sections that may have been affected by the work." For this, the same form of white railing will be used so characteristic and the blue tiles will also be recovered. But there is more. The Plaza del Castell , where excavation works are being carried out, will also have some of the previous structures, only with slight changes in size. This is the well-known pergola that was in the center of the square although it will be made a little shorter to respect the remains found, as well as a little wider. Also, according to the mayor, it will be reinforced and will have "lighting systems" to give light to the entire square.
But this enclave, one of the most photographed tourist spots by millions of tourists, will not return to its former appearance in some parts. Specifically, where important archaeological remains have been located such as the wall canvases of the 14th and 16th centuries, the east tower, the well of the well and the fortress closing wall.
In these areas, the glass will make its way in front of the balustrade or pavement. Thus, Pérez explained that the Ministry of Culture has guaranteed that these sections of archaeological remains can be exposed, as well as a portion of the mother rock of Punta Canfali. To do this, you will be able to use stepped glass on the floor and glass railings in some parts such as the one that faces the face of Levante from where you can contemplate the part of the wall and a localized tower. You can also see through the glass the remains of the original wall that has been found and that extend more than two meters or a flight of stairs located in the middle of the square. All this will be accompanied by explanatory panels with the history of Castell.
Updates 25th September
Work is also continuing in reinforcing the vertical limestone walls which have been pounded by the sea for years. These are being made more stable by the installation of mesh nets which will help prevent more sea erosion and make the area safer from falling rocks.
Workers from a company who specialise in this type of vertical work are taken down on a daily basis and work will continue on this area for a further two weeks. The mesh will cover an area of 550 square meters.
The second part is the consolidation of the massif itself. And for this the rock is "sewn" using "25mm diameter bolts" these are being inserted into the massif up to "3 or 6 meters deep". The rock is drilled both manually and automatically by means of pneumatic hammers, depending on the depth that has to be reached.
The project, according to sources, will also included a third stage that, for now, is on hold: this will be the creation of a breakwater in the sea to stop the effect of the waves directly on the massif. This is a project for the future, as special permission from the Coastal Provincial Directorate is needed as it is a "maritime work,"
Updates 24th August
The first traces of the Castell are now becoming visible.
See more photos of what is happening HERE
The first hypotheses show that the Castell was "nobility" , where the lord lived, and behind it was the rest of the population. "The structures surfaced a few centimeters after removing the pavement," said the archaeologist. Thus, a diaphanous space has been found that "could be a square" next to the low well of which a large "well preserved" cistern has been located and which even has name inscriptions from several eras.
Around that square, walls have been discovered that would correspond to rooms and even remnants of ash that would be from a room like the kitchen. In fact, there are ceramic remains that have appeared of household goods, dated mainly in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that would demonstrate that domestic life as well as snail shells or bones of animals and scrapes that would correspond to the type of diet they carried; also, remains of figures of terracotta and ammunition of the nineteenth century, as well as various coins from different eras located inside the cistern. Read more HERE
Updates - 17th August 2019, original article here in Spanish
Work to uncover the old vestiges of the Castell is still underway. The members of the Municipal Corporation, headed by Mayor Antonio Pérez and the Councilor for Historical Heritage Ana Pellicer, met yesterday the archaeological actions that Lure Archeology develops in this area.
The archeologist Lourdes López has explained the details of the excavation and the elements surfaced in this work campaign that began with the work of clearing the East, South and West sides that have allowed to locate "the outer canvas of the walls that delimited an enclosure wider than the one occupied by the traditional Plaça del Castell ". The importance of this first action is fundamental because "it will allow us to understand what the castle was like", on the ground floor. In the East and Southeast areas the remains of the original walls and several of the rooms have been located.
The mayor stressed that these works "intend to recover and value the historical heritage of Benidorm that we started with the Torre de les Caletes and the Roman Castellum del Tossal de la Cala and now in the Castle of Benidorm." At the same time, he insisted that it is "an investment financed with European funds that meets the deadlines."
In this sense, the works "must be completed before November 15th and of the four lines of action in all the squares of the Castle, Santa Ana and Castelas, to the one of Castillo correspond the actions number 1 (cleaning and clearing of the slopes) and 2 (excavations in the Plaza del Castillo).
These archaeological surveys, said Mayor Toni Pérez, will provide the place with an unquestionable and greater tourist attraction and with this action will ensure that "everyone knows the history of the castle that is the History of Benidorm."
Thanks to this initiative, as Mayor Toni Pérez pointed out, the Canfali hill will be consolidated and the proposal is to carry out the musealization and enhancement of all these remains in order that the Castle will once again be an open and full square of life for the use and enjoyment of residents and visitors. The new Castle Square will maintain the current balustrade structure, which has never been an element of the castle itself but has made it world famous, and that has become a cultural element of tremendous importance for the symbolic content it has for Benidorm.
Update 19th July 2019 Photo provided by Benidorm Seriously Group Member Phil McKenna
Benidorm will close access this summer to the Castell to excavate archaeological remains, this area is one of the most visited areas of Benidorm. The excavation has a cost of 1.2 million.
Benidorm Seriously did break the news of up and coming works back in December 2018 with this article -The future excavation and musealisation of the Castell de Benidorm
Original article can be viewed here in Spanish at www.diarioinformacion.com/
Please note this article has been translated from Spanish to English so some information may be slightly lost in translation
The work will be done hopefully in four months and should be completed in November which will leave the area of the mirador without access - The works will not affect the terraces of surrounding businesses.
The current work will be carried out in different phases, which also include the consolidation of one of the walls of Punta de Canfali, on which the Castle sits and, if there are remains, the musealization of that old fortress so that it can be visible. "We are very excited about the project because documents in 1993 and 2014 indicate the existence of remains of the structures and dependencies,"
*First Phase - Cleaning and clearing of the area in which the remains of the wall are located, on the side of Punta Canfali that coincides with the squares of Castell and Castelar.
The second – the most important, is the excavation of the Plaça del Castell, where “the oldest levels of the defensive complex” would be located, based on the historical documentation and the archaeological intervention made in 1993. This action will be carried out in two phases to allow at all times access to the square and the viewpoint.
The third – archaeological surveys have been planned in the Santa Ana and Castelar squares and in the viewpoint located further south, with the aim of confirming or ruling out the presence of remains of towers and other constructions.
The forth - The last line of action focuses on the consolidation of the slopes of Punta Canfali.*
Obviously there will never be a good time to do this work and already hoardings have already been erected at the base of the steps and diggers have flattened most of the structure.
It could be said that this point is the place from which everything started. Everything that we know today as Benidorm and that was born on an unsettled date around the year 1325. Almost seven centuries later, the City Council has proposed to excavate under the the current Castle to find the first fortress built by order of Admiral Bernat de Sarrià and that gave origin to the municipality fo Benidorm. For this, it has turned upside down the well-known Plaça del Castell, one of the points most visited by tourists.
The project is the result of an almost personal effort of the mayor of Historical Heritage, Ana Pellicer. The department that directs the number two of the popular Antonio Pérez began the entire process to make this excavation more than a year ago. The main problem: the lack of funds, since the investment reaches 1.2 million euros, which they partially solved in obtaining a subsidy of 500,000 euros from the European Union. The main challenge: to have the guts to excavate one of the most emblematic places in Benidorm, without knowing what may be underneath. Time will tell.
The only thing that is more or less clear is the most remote history of this primitive castle. The first record goes back to the Charter of Poblament of Benidorm, granted by Bernat de Sarrià on May 8, 1325, in which it is documented that there was no building in the "Punta de Alfalig" and that the Admiral had ordered the construction of a castle there. It was then a fortification and villa of seigneurial foundation, that would be property of the feudal gentleman, under the control of the Barony of Polop.
The fort was passed from hand to hand and provided various services until the eighteenth century, when the Kingdom took over. In all that time, he encountered two constant problems: piracy and the progressive deterioration of defenses. Later, the fortress was occupied by the Napoleonic troops during the War of Independence and, after it, the British bombed and partially destroyed the construction, which remained in ruins until 1928, when the mayor Vicente Llorca Alós promoted its remodeling - which It included the placement of the famous balustrade, burying the old structure, of which only one of the walls, on the side facing the beach of Mal Pas, and the decorative well where there is a cistern are still visible.
Some issues were raised in a meeting yesterday which took place in one of the establishments of Castell between hoteliers, merchants, hoteliers and members of the craft market in the area as well as the main street with the councilor, the edil de Obras, José Ramón González de Zárate, and with municipal technicians and the company that will do the excavation. In it they explained the deadlines and how the works were going to be done. Thus, the passage of trucks will be through the main street and enter the square by the side of the hotel located in the Plaza San Jaime "only two or three times a day." As for the schedule, "the noisiest parts will be attempted outside the hours of rest".
The works will be documented at all times and a camera located where the old library was will serve to take pictures in real time. The project is planned to operate as an open-air museum while the work is being carried out. Thus, the councilor explained that "it is an unknown what can be found below", so that the development of the work could change on the fly. "We will document everything and we will inform of what we find,"