The history of Benidorm, Spain

The history of Benidorm has more to it than beaches, though this vintage photo looks pretty sweet ... photo by CC user 49093093@N02 on Flickr

It is the best time of year to plot out your holiday plans for 2015, with many parts of Southern Europe figuring into the aspirations of travelers. If you’re going for a Short all-inclusive break to Benidorm, Spain this summer season, it pays to brush up on the history of the region to give yourself a better sense of the place that you are about to visit.

So read up on the following fun facts about the history of Benidorm and impress newly made travel friends at the bar … no need to thank us!

Origins

Traces of Punic and Roman settlement have been found in the Benidorm area that put the history of human presence here as far back as 5,000 years.

However, it was the Moors that established the first major community here, laying down roots and giving this community its name back in the 13th century.

With the Christian conquest of the area just a century later though, Benidorm officially became a town, with the granting of its charter in 1325.

Its fishing history & struggles with intruders

Being the home to roving fishermen that sailed the high seas in search of the finest marine life to grace the dinner tables of Spain, Benidorm was a humble town that was home to their lonely families for much of the season.

This fact must have made their breadwinners nervous and worrisome as they did their jobs far from home, as their home suffered from a number of pirate attacks that led to the town being razed a number of times over its history.

In response to this, the castle (which no longer exists) was increased in size in the 16th and 17th centuries, providing badly needed security that finally enabled the town to grow, along with an irrigation system that opened up another avenue of growth for the region, as farmers now had insurance against dry years, allowing them to tend the soil with confidence.

Benidorm’s rise as a tourism hotbed

After rising to its apex as a fishing hotspot in the 18th and 19th centuries, the industry began to decline, with economic losses starting to pick up speed around 1952. It was at this time when that the town’s council began to explore tourism as a way to diversify its economy, and by 1956, they began to build the promenades that hordes of visitors stroll along in the present day.

It was the construction of the Alicante airport in 1967 that really fuelled their current success though, as waves of Britons began to arrive after being linked to these significantly sunnier shores by the brand new miracle of jet liner travel.

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