Plaça dels Marins i Almadravers de Benidorm / Muralla medieval del castillo y puerto
From here you can see the remains of the medieval walls surrounding the ancient fortification. Benidorm's origins date back to the Middle Ages, at that moment –by strategic interest- a Christian settlement took place in this area to resist one of the dangers of that time, the Muslim.
In 1325, Admiral Bernat de Sarrià, lord of these lands, granted the Town Charter, (la Carta Puebla), to found Benidorm at this place known as Canfali. Then the castle and the village began to be built.
The perimeter of the wall is unknown because it suffered several transformations throughout history, until it practically disappeared in the XIX century.
What is clear is that it was a modest construction that served as a refuge for the population. An archaeological excavation of the 90's dated the wall in the XV century.
Despite not having a proper natural harbour, fishing has always been a very important activity. Since the XV century almost the only relevant economic activity was fishing, especially tuna using the technique of ‘almadraba’.
People from Benidorm have had the reputation of being the best in this art, (almadraba), and have worked in different parts of the South of Spain and the African coast, (Larache, Tánger, Barbate, Isla Cristina), until almost the XX century.
The original port (in the picture), is from the beginning of the XX century. Until then, the fishing boats used to fish in the bay were left stranded on the beach.
It is a widely prevalent topic that Benidorm was a fishing village. The truth is that while its people were dedicated to the sea and to agriculture, we must say that fishing was not the most important activity, not least because Benidorm did not have a port until the early XX century .
In the XVIII and XIX centuries the demographic and economic growth took place and the city took off definitely. The activities related to the sea did not remain in the fishery. Apart from the importance of ‘las almadrabas’, a kind of fishing, there was a large group of persons engaged in trade and maritime transport, Corsican, repression of smuggling, etc…
In fact, in the XIX century the number of sailors who were not dedicated to fishing was really significant for the quantity and quality: officials, merchantmen, foremen, engine drivers, etc.