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Balcón de Europa
One of the most popoular spots within the town of Nerja is the Balcón de Europa, built on the previous site of a 10th century castle, it just hangs over the cliffs and beaches to gain better advantage of the spectactular views.
High arches and trees shade horses and carts that are transport around the town.
Ancient cannons, which once spurned forth pirates and invaders, stand guard and add a touch of history.
The parish church of El Salvadoris beautiful, this is in the same area, its 17th century Baroque-Mudejar which has recently been restored.
Hang out on the Balcon
The Balcon de Europa is a popular meeting place from morning til midnight and a good place to meet friends for a coffee or a bit of people watching.
Centrally located in Nerja it is close to many restaurants, shops, the Tourist Office, Post Office. THere are also several hotels in all classes, and self catering accommodation within easy walking distance.
There are good views from the Balcon over Calahonda Beach to the east and, to the west, the little cove belonging to The Balcon de Europa Hotel - a great place to catch the sunset.
The history of the town from the neolithic period to the mid 20th Century is an extraordinary cyclical tale of poverty and prosperity, war and peace, health and disease.
The 19th century brought the greatest combination of the best of all these making Nerja the centre of trade for the produce gown and harvested by the people . As the 20th century began so did another downward spiral - cholera, typhoid, drought,and Phylloxera, industrial unrest and civil war resulted in mass emigration and the decline of the town.
Through the discovery in 1958 of the caves the town was reborn and became famous as a tourist destination.
The main drag.....and a tiny bit of history.
The Paseo de Balcon de Europa is a pedestrianised, palm-lined promenade which leads to a viewpoint built on top of the remains of Nerja's 16-th century castle: the Balcon de Europa itself. The promenade and the viewpoint are the focus of many Nerja festivals and processions throughout the year and, of course, the New Year's Eve fireworks and celebrations.
It's built on top of Nerja's 'castle' (really a watchtower), originally built by the Moors in the 9th century and then rebuilt in 1509. Little of the 'castle' remains visible...I didn't even bother to take photos...but it's interesting to note that it was rebuilt to form part of a defensive chain around the coastline, along with watchtowers and beaconpoints on other coastal promontories. I spotted several of those solitary watchtowers as I travelled around by bus but Nerja's 'castle' is pretty much hidden.
The Paseo is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants and is a pretty, if short, place to stroll. From its end there are superb views across the sea (it is said that the African coast can be seen on a clear day) and along the coastline.
King Alfonso X11 (1857-85) appears to have been the first to give it the name when, visiting to see the effects of the 1884 earthquake and vastly impressed by the view, he said (in Spanish, obviously) 'This is the balcony of Europe'. The Paseo was set out in the 1930s and King Alfonso's life-sized statue now leans elegantly against the guardrail gazing out to sea. There are a couple of chunky cannon on display as well. Both well-rusted, I imagine they were dredged up from the waters at some point. They date from the Peninsula War in the early 1800s.
Both cannon and statue are popular posing points. It took me ages to get a shot of either which did not include someone else...and I was visiting in low season.
The Balcon de Europa is certainly worth a look and, if you are keen on ambling, sitting in the sun shine and people-watching, it's the ideal spot.
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Views from Balcón de Europa
The Balcón de Europa (Balcony of Europe) was originaly the site of a Moorish Castle, today it has been turned into a promenade with great views along the coast and into the Mediterranean sea. Quiet coves surround it and a few cafes serve refreshments.
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Balcon de Europa
Where the Balcony of Europe is now, there once was a 9th century castle. This has all vanished, because the allied destroyed the castle so that the French could not use it during that war of Independence. In 1487 the historical town center of Nerja was built in the surroundings of this viewing point, which sticks out from the cliffs and harbours a restaurant at this moment.
When the weather is ideal and your eyes are like the ones of a hawk, you can see North Africa at a very clear day from this point.
The Balcony of Europe is a vantage point overlooking the sea, located at the end of the Balcony of Europe promenade. The balcony is right in the town centre and has wonderful views of the beaches of Nerja and the vast Mediterranean Sea; the views are among the finest in Spain. Visitors usually take photos of themselves leaning over the balustrade, next to the statue of King Alfonso XII who gave the balcony its name, or next to the ancient cannons at each side.
El Balcón de Europa es un mirador al mar, al final del denominado Paseo Balcón de Europa. Está situado en el centro del pueblo y desde él se pueden contemplar varias playas nerjeñas y la inmensidad del mar Mediterráneo, con vistas de las más hermosas de España. Es costumbre entre los visitantes hacerse una foto al lado de la estatua conmemorativa del rey Alfonso XII que le dio nombre, apoyado sobre la balaustrada, o junto a los antiguos cañones que lo flanquean.
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