Benidorm - Why so high?

Benidorm's Skyline at sunset

Meaty, beefy, big and bouncy. Love 'em or loathe 'em, the high-rise hotels are what makes Benidorm's skyline famous. But you know it's a funny thing, when you're actually there amongst them, they just don't seem that noticeable anymore - I mean, with the beautiful Med glistening in the sun you don't walk round sky-gazing do you?

And that's one of the reasons they were built unashamedly 'upwards' - so that as many of Benidorm's visitors as possible could enjoy a view of the sea.

But there's rather more to it than that...

build 'em high - less wasteful of the countryside

Back in the early 50's, Benidorm's fishing based economy was in need of a boost. The Mayor, Pedro Zaragova, foresaw Benidorm's potential as a sunspot for all those enduring unreliable summers elsewhere. He had the idea to build 'em high - less wasteful of the countryside, 'urban concentration' as he so delightfully termed it! And just think how many more sea views became available from hotel rooms.

Maybe the reason that those skyscrapers are ... I was about to say, 'just part of the landscape'!... is that they fit the pattern of what we expect and what we know and love. They're not interspersed with whitewashed bouganvillea clad villas showing neither off to best advantage.

They are what they are so enjoy the view.

And the Bikini

Pedro Zaragoza is also credited with persuading Spain's former dictator, General Franco, to lift the ban on bikinis...

Those who enjoy soaking up bits of information may be interested to know that Pedro Zaragoza is also credited with persuading Spain's former dictator, General Franco, to lift the ban on bikinis. Seems hard to believe that in these days of micro-thongs, a two piece swimsuit was considered, well......oo-er missus!

As a Roman Catholic country no one in Government dared lift the ban for fear of excommunication. At the time, this forward thinking and intrepid step went a long way to nurturing the growth in tourism. And sales of good sunglasses... A good move, methinks.

Thanks Senor Zaragoza

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Interesting links:

  • Skyscrapers in Benidorm
    Very interesting site about the construction of skyscrapers in Benidorm. Lots of facts and figures.
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