The Roman Castellum in Benidorm: Unveiling Ancient Military Architecture

Nestled in the heart of the province of Alicante, the Roman Castellum on the hill of El Tossal de la Cala de Benidorm stands as a remarkable testament to the Roman presence in this region. Discovered during a meticulous excavation project in 2016, this ancient fortress, dating back to the 1st century BC, has offered a unique glimpse into the military architecture of the Roman era.

Initially mistaken for an Iberian settlement, further exploration of the site revealed the distinctive features of a Roman castellum or fortified tower. What sets this discovery apart is its rarity – it is the sole known example of this type of military construction in Spain. The findings have not only reshaped historical understanding but also highlighted the strategic significance of this location in Roman times.

Picture courtesy of Visit Benidorm

The excavation brought to light four previously unknown rooms and approximately 10 additional meters of access pass, shedding new light on the functional layout of the castellum. Moreover, a collection of materials employed to level the road surface to the hill's summit was uncovered, adding valuable insights into Roman engineering practices.

Visiting the Roman Castellum is a journey back in time, albeit one that requires a bit of physical effort. As the site is situated atop a hill, visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and carry an ample supply of fluids. For those opting to drive, it's advisable to anticipate challenges in finding parking spaces.

Entrance to the site is free, allowing locals and tourists alike to immerse themselves in the historical ambiance. During the winter months, the Roman Castellum welcomes visitors from 8:15 am to 9:15 pm, while in the summer, the hours extend from 8:15 am to 7:15 pm. For a more enriching experience, guided tours are available on Fridays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, providing an opportunity to delve deeper into the captivating history of this Roman fortress.