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Information about Peñíscola and the ambiance

The Costa Azahar is one of the most interesting and beautiful landscapes in Spain, with miles of sandy beaches and crystal clear sea. 300 sunny days a year, an average temperature of 20 ° C and crystal clear water and the air which is is containing iodine abate demonstrably asthmatic, allergic, rheumatic and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies this climate rightly as one of the best in the world. A lot of persons with such disorders are demonstrably free of pain after staying a few days. The nearly 3 km long sandy beach with calm waves naturally invites for sun bathing. The beach is very shallow in the sea and therefore it is also ideal for children who want so swim. For the safety of bathers there are modern life-saving items, danger signs and access for disabled. Beach volleyball games, gym and children's games are offered. In addition you can rent deck chairs, sunshades and pedal boats. The beach of Peñíscola is known for its cleanliness, which is confirmed with the award of the Blue Flag.

Possibilities for excursions:

In the vicinity of Peñíscola you can find a variety of interesting excursions for younger and for older persons:

* The castle in Morella

* The park 'Port Aventura' before Tarragona, one of the biggest amusement parks in Europe

* The castle ruins of Alcalá de Chivert or Santa

* Magdalena

* The famous caves of Vall de UIXO

* The Matarraña and Canaleta gorge in the mountains of the interior

* The city of Valencia with its historic centro urbano

* The splendid landscape of the nature reserve of Ebro Delta

* And much more ...

Artistically and historically important sights:

* The city walls, which were built by the famous Italian military architect Juan Bautista Antonelli by order of Philip II

*The gate "Portal del Papa Luna" in which you can see the emblem of stone of Pedro de Luna and which was once the access to the fortress from the seaside

* The parish temple Virgen del Socorro with Gothic tracery

* The worship of our Mother of God of Ermitana in which you can see the image of the patron of the city

* The Artillery Park which is equipped of casemates and powder magazines. It will be opened for special occasions.

* The church which was built in the 15th Century in the Gothic style, with additions from the 18th Century

In addition worth to visit in Peñíscola and surround:

* The maritime museum, which is dedicated to the story, the fishing and fauna of this area

* The bird and parrot park in the neighboring place Benicarló

* The Islas Columbretes, whith organized excursions by boat to the protected bird islands with meals and the fun by swimming is guaranteed

* Organized tours with land rovers through the beautiful, unspoiled mountain landscape and to the hidden sandy beach in Pebret

* the fishing port weekdays from 17 o· clock, were the catches are auctioned and issued

The history of Peñíscola

Population: about 4,200

Peñíscola is now one of the main resorts on the Costa del Azahar, the orange blossom coast.

The story of Peñiscola goes back over 1000 years, especially the warlike times were of great importance.

The old castle of Peñíscola with monumental proportions lies in 64 m height above the sea. With the mainland, it was up to the twenties of the 20th Century only connected with a sand dune-like strip, which was washed away by the waves time after time and though the city became an island.

Because of Peñíscola all the Mediterranean people came, which traveled this quiet and culturally blessed sea since the beginning of the history of Peñiscola.

Peñíscola has been known by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs because of the favorable situation, the security of the indomitable fortress and the generally good life position.

Between 1294 and 1307 today's castle was built by the Knights Templar of the Order on the ruins of a moorish fortress.

The chasteness, the baldness, and the construction of beautiful ashlar stone masonry, and the solid walls reflect the sober and impressive military architecture, which is stylistically seen between the late Gothic period and the subsequent settled.

In 1922 Peñíscola was cataloged as a national art historical monument and is now on the second place of the most visited monuments in Spain after the Alhambra of Granada.

Peñíscola as papal seat

Don Pedro de Luna, born in 1325, belonged to one of the twelve families of Aragon, which belonged to a specific association of seniority and you can find their emblem on corners and facades of Peñíscola.

In his youth Don Pedro de Luna was inspired of weapons and martial arts, studied canonical law, but then he turned to the spiritual world. Pope Gregory XI appointed him as cardinal deacon in 1375.

1411 Papa Luna moved to Peñíscola and used the castle as a palace and library. Even today the fort is reminiscent of the thoughts and feelings of this man, who had the conviction that he was the real Pope of the Catholic Church, to represent it, even at the time of wars and corruption. From the council of Constance, Benedict XIII. was accused of heresy, but survived all poison attacks, he died on 23 May 1423, his two remaining cardinals stayed next to him until his last breath. Today, even memories of the pope and of his successor Clement VIII, also originating from Aragón, are kept in the castle.

Today you can visit the papal basilica of Benedict XIII, a nave with a rectangular outline, slightly pointed arches and a ball section on the Aspis, the throne room where the Pope received members of embassy and where he held audiences, the hall of conclaves, the room for studying and the papal chambers.