The Balcon de Europa

The rain in Spain, seems to have wandered off the plains to the coast, creating a very moody Balcón de Europa. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, from Nerja, originally it was the site of a 9th century watchtower built to monitor the coastline, protecting against pirates until it gradually fell apart from fighting and the elements.

Subsequently rebuilt in the early 1487, it was known as  La Batería, after its battery of cannons, ostensibly positioned to protect the town. The cannons and other local fortifications however were destroyed by the British Navy in 1812, who bombarded the town to prevent the watchtowers falling into the hands of Napoleon´s French troops, part of Great Britain’s alliance with Spanish guerilla forces during the Spanish War of Independence aka the Peninsula War. The area suffered further destruction when an earthquake occurred in 1884. The following year, when King Alfonso XII visited Nerja to see the destruction of the earthquake, he was mightily impressed and astonished by the view from the site of the old tower, describing it as “The Balcony of Europe”. The surrounding area was built up in 1930, adding a short promenade leading to the balcony and a number of cafés; it was then officially named Balcón de Europa. In honour of this historic moment, a statue of the king positioned with his back to view he so admired, but facing visitors to the Balcon.

It’s normally crowded, but the winter rain deters all but the hardiest of visitors…


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