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The mayor highlights that after seven centuries of history the city maintains 60% of its territory protected and the interest it arouses among scholars and researchers from around the world

Benidorm commemorates the 699th anniversary of its birth as a town with an institutional plenary session

08 May 2024
Toni Pérez alcalde de Benidorm

The events continue today with a concert and at the weekend, with a medieval street market and the performance of the granting of the Town Charter
The City Council illuminates Levante and El Castell catenary in blue and white

This Wednesday, Benidorm City Council commemorated the 699th anniversary of its founding as a town with an institutional plenary session commemorating May 8, 1325, when Admiral Bernat de Sarriá granted its settlers the first Town Charter. The mayor of the city, Toni Pérez, was in charge of presiding over this plenary session and, during his speech, he highlighted the “open, hospitable and avant-garde” character of the city, as well as the efforts of the local Administration to protect its territory and for continuing to value history and heritage, for being a world tourism power but without leaving its roots behind.

The event, assisted by a sign language interpreter, was attended by practically the entire municipal Corporation, among whom was also the regional deputy José Ramón González de Zárate, along with his colleagues in Les Corts Manuel Pérez Fenoll and Mario Villar. Various representatives of the State Security Forces and Corps have also been present, such as the local commissioner of the National Police, Ceferino Serrano, or the mayor of the Local Police Carlos López; as well as representatives of numerous business, academic, cultural, festive or neighbourhood entities and groups; and the maintainer of the Carta Pobla event next Saturday, Esperanza Rostoll Aznar.

During his institutional speech, the mayor recalled that, throughout the almost seven centuries of history that it treasures, Benidorm and its people "have had to face challenges and difficulties and overcome them", which in his opinion "has marked the character of a city that is always open and hospitable, always fighting and enterprising, always innovative and at the forefront of action and thought.”

Toni Pérez has also recalled that, on his day, “Bernat de Sarrià did not doubt it; Benidorm had to be founded and to do so on an area of land that, today, practically 700 years later, remains protected by more than 60%", a protection that, as he has recognized, is the result of "a lot of planning and study ” and has been “accompanied by efficient and sustainable management of resources and territory.”

Echoing some verses from 'Jo vinc d'un silenci' by the Valencian singer-songwriter Raimon – “qui perd els orígens, perd identitat” –, the mayor of Benidorm has reviewed the numerous actions he has carried out in recent years the local government to recover and value our historical, cultural and archaeological heritage in enclaves such as El Castell, Séquia Mare, Tossal de La Cala, Torre de Les Caletes or, currently, in l'Hort de Colón.

He has also highlighted the good health enjoyed by the municipality's musical and cultural entities, "while the commitment to technology, innovation, sustainability and governance become increasingly visible in daily life", has apostilled

In his review of recent history, Toni Pérez has also highlighted the “talent and expertise” that Benidorm exported to the world through its merchant sailors or fishermen with a special mention to Vicente Zaragoza Casamayor, the last Arráez born in Benidorm, who died last January. “And if at the time we were eminent in nautical and fishing, for seven decades we have been eminent in tourism,” he said, and then pointed out that “the tourist phenomenon of Benidorm, and everything that comes from it, awakens “There is increasing interest among researchers and scholars from various disciplines, from tourism, marketing and finance, to history, architecture, sociology or gender issues.”

Finally, the councillor has called to “practice ‘tourismophilia’” against “malicious and remote-controlled movements that only aim to generate and inoculate ‘tourismphobia’”. Pérez states, “We must claim even more forcefully and continue being what we have always been: a welcoming city, open to the world, inclusive and capable of generating happiness.”

“Pedro Zaragoza already said it: Benidorm is the creation of all our people and all Benidorm residents are owners of their heritage. “All together we have built this success story that is Benidorm and now, in the face of a changing and increasingly competitive world, we must make our city an increasingly better place,” concluded the first mayor.

After the institutional speech, the plenary session ended with interpreting the Benidorm Anthem for all those present.

Other events

The commemorative events of the 699th anniversary of the founding of Benidorm will continue with other events coordinated by Grup Carta de Poblament and the support of the Departments of Fiestas and Culture of Benidorm City Council and the Associació de Penyes Verge del Sofratge. This afternoon, starting at 8 p.m., there will be a concert by the Chamber Group of  Benidorm Unión Musical in the Town Hall Assembly Hall.

Next, on Saturday, the 11th, at 9:00 p.m. at Plaça de Sant Jaume, the performance of the granting of the Town Charter will take place, based on the text by Professor Pasqual Almiñana and in which members of the Grup and members of the club participate.  Esperanza Rostoll Aznar will organize the event. 

In parallel and as a complement to these events, the surroundings of Elche Park will host the 'Benidorm Medieval', with stalls and countless shows and animations. This initiative, promoted by the Departments of Fiestas and Commerce together with AICO and the company Legend Especialistas, will last from this Thursday, the 9th, until Sunday, May 12.

Likewise, starting this afternoon, the City Council will illuminate the catenary of the Paseo Marítimo de Levante and El Castell in white and blue, the colours of Benidorm.

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