Benidorm manages more than 700,000 euros of European funds to recover and muse El Castell and El Tossal

The rest of the contribution to complete both projects will come from the municipal coffers
Benidorm manages more than 700,000 euros of European funds to recover and muse El Castell and El Tossal.
Benidorm manages more than 700,000 euros of European funds to recover and muse El Castell and El Tossal.

Benidorm City Council has managed more than 700,000 euros from European funds to recover, put value and musealize the archaeological site of El Castell, and to advance the musealization of El Tossal de La Cala. The mayor, Toni Pérez, has reported that the General Directorate of Local Administration of the Generalitat Valenciana has notified the City Council that the two projects submitted to the call for grants for the protection or recovery of Valencian cultural heritage through the Operational Program FEDER 2014- 2020 have passed and will receive European funds for their execution.

According to the provisional resolution issued by the Generalitat, the project of excavation, consolidation and musealization of the Castell will receive an aid of 500,000 euros, amount corresponding to 50% of the main cost - maximum eligible subsidy-. In both cases, "we have obtained the maximum that we had requested", he clarified. The rest of the necessary funds will be contributed by the City Council.

The mayor indicated that this grant is limited "to an area for which we have firmly committed: the recovery of our heritage"; and ensured that the achievement of these two grants "is based on a persistent, exciting and rigorous work"; and added "to the long list" of grants obtained by Benidorm from different administrations, basically in the last two years.

Pérez indicated that these are "very powerful" actions in "two privileged and emblematic enclaves" of Benidorm and that affect "in that binomial that is our heritage and our culture and tourism". He also added that both recovery and value-added projects will allow Benidorm's heritage to be enjoyed by residents and tourists of "present and future generations".

The mayor recalled that this project, written by municipal technicians and valued at 1.2 million euros, proposes an integral action to "archaeologically document the totality of the preserved remains" of the old castle-fortress. Some remains that are currently covered and practically imperceptible "under the Plazas del Castell, Castelar and Santa Ana. In fact, only the canvases of the wall remain in view, although the archaeological tastings made in 1993 and 2014 confirm the existence of remains of the structures and dependencies of a castle of which there is documentary evidence from the granting of the first Charter of Poblamiento of Benidorm in 1325.

As stated in the project, "an urgent action to consolidate the rock layers of the Punta del Canfali is required to ensure the stability of the entire site", one of the largest tourist attractions in the city, and "especially of the walls that are still standing ". From there, it proposes to determine in which areas it is necessary to do prospections, "to discover the remains that underlie the pavement of the squares, investigate them and document them", conserving the most relevant ones, putting them in value and explaining them to the citizenship. A valorisation that must be done "in an integrated manner" and replacing the "pedestrian use that the whole site has" at present.

Regarding the project of excavation, consolidation and musealization of El Tossal, the aid amounts to 205,793.62, equivalent also to 50% of the estimated main cost. With this project "we are going to give continuity to all the work we have developed in that enclave and that today has allowed us to value that jewel of our heritage that is the 'castellum'", stressed the mayor. In addition to delving into the excavation, consolidation and musealization of the site, the project includes "also its expansion".

Remember that the seventh excavation campaign in El Tossal will soon begin guided by the University of Alicante (UA), and that the City Council has executed works to consolidate the site in the last few months, dating from the 1st century BC . Specifically, the walls of the visible rooms and the canvas of the wall located four years ago have been secured, and the pavement of the rooms has been protected. In addition, existing walls have been re-built, using materials that simulate the originals, although differentiating the current part of the archaeological site; and the gaps in the pavement have been filled.