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The history behind Benidorm

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Costa Blanca North
The history behind Benidorm
By Donna Williams •
Published: 04 Jul 2024 • 15:56


Benidorm was not always the bustling tourist destination with its golden beaches and skyscraper hotels that are so well-known today.


Its history can be traced back to the Bronze Age, leading to a fascinating journey through the centuries.


As with many areas in Costa Blanca North, Benidorm was influenced by the Romans and the Moors.  Although the Roman settlements were small, evidence of the Roman military enclaves can still be seen today at Tossal de la Cala.


King James 1 of Aragon

The reconquest of Benidorm by Christian forces took place in 1245 and was led by King James 1 of Aragon, one of the longest-reigning monarchs in history.


He incorporated it into the newly created Kingdom of Valencia, having previously signed a Treaty with the Moors.


In May 1325, Admiral Bernat de Sarria of Polop awarded the area a town charter, and it officially became known as Benidorm.


With its status confirmed, Benidorm became a strategic weapon for Admiral Sarria to wield in his bid to stop Admiral Roger of Lauria, Lord of Altea, from rising to power.


After fending off pirate attacks by the Ottomans and Barbaries, the 17th century saw a notable improvement, mainly due to the construction of an advanced irrigation system.


By the 18th Century, Benidorm had become famous for its fishermen, and the success of its fishing, together with the improved irrigation system, helped fuel a stronger local economy.


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