OLD CITY OF PEÑÍSCOLA
One of the great charms of Peñiscola is the Castillo del Papa Luna; 1307 Templar fortress magnificently preserved with its old wall, white houses, cobbled streets and small squares.
To visit the ancient city of Peñiscola means travelling back in time to the Phoenicians, wandering through its streets while discovering places full of charm and see the best views from the castle.
Take your time and get lost in years of history!
So you don't miss out on anything and so that you can visit the old town of Peñiscola in two hours, we have prepared this tourist route:
Tourist Route through the Old Town of Peñiscola
We went walking to the Hotel Servigroup Papa Luna along the promenade towards the castle. After about 500 metres to the right, along the Avenida Doctor Marcelino Roca, we approach the walls. At the foot of the walls on the left, the washing house and Petxina fountain of Font de dins and on the right the fishing port. Once you have visited the port, cross the wooden bridge to the walls and go under the Portal de San Pere (formerly one of the three entrances to the city), then entering the street called Calle Atarazanas, you arrive at the old town.
Keep going up, about hundred metres on the left is the Bufador and in about another 80 metres on the right, the Maritime Museum (three small aquariums with the best known marine species in the area). Walking for another 10 metres along the Calle Mayor and on the right Calle Sol and then the Farones Street leads us to La Casa de las Conchas (fronted building completely filled with native shells).
We keep climbing and a few metres to the left, the street Jaime Sanz, known for its small local restaurants, gives us access on the right hand side to the square of San Roque and the street called San Roque, which leads to the Plaza de Armas.
There we have the square with Peñiscola's lighthouse, the famous Papa Luna Castle and the Church of Our Lady of Ermitana. Making our way down the stairs in the church square, on the right is the street Santos Martires, which leads us in about 150 metres to the entrance of the gardens of the Artillery Park and the Refuge of Raptors.
Continuing down the street Oblivo, about 100 metres a staircase allows us to climb over the walls and roam around. The last lot of stairs, takes us to the town hall and parish church of St. Mary on the right and on the left to Fosc Portal, which was the main entrance to the city. We crossed the street and went down the street called Subida Felipe II, turn left and see a metal staircase that leads us to the walls. Walking past the craft stalls, we reach the end of the wall and turn left onto Porteta street, reaching the Plaça de Bous. We cross diagonally and enter into the Plaça de les Caseres (where the spring of fresh water flows for the whole of the city) under the Portal de Santa Maria (third gate of the city).
On the right, there are some metal stairs,that let us go up to the fort and from there you are able to see the square. At the end of the overpass, a portal leads us to the Casa del Agua (a spring that has supplied the city since immemorial time) and the Chapel of Santa Ana (built in a cul de sac in honour of Santa Ana chapel dating 1827). On the right going down we meet once again the Portal de San Pere and the Port where our route started.
Points of interest in the "Tourist Route through the Old Town of Peñiscola
- Fishing Port: Until 1920, the water reached the outer wall and fishing activity took place in the North Beach area of Porteta. Throughout the twentieth century, until 1981, the port was constructed and modified to give the appearance that you currently have, with two breakwater walls, two piers to dock fishing vessels and a fish market where the freshly caught fish is auctioned from Monday to Friday.
- The Bufador: It is a natural crevasse in the rocks of 7 metres in length, produced by erosion of the sea. The water entering and leaving to the rhythm of the waves causing snorts and splashing during the rough weather.
- Peñiscola Lighthouse: Located next to Papa Luna Castle, built in 1892 and consists of an octagonal tower of 11metres high and a neighbouring building with two floors. Its light reaches thirty-five miles and is still inhabited and used, noting the proximity of the imposing rock. It was this lighthouse where the scientist lived, the protagonist of the film Calabuch (1956) was filmed.
- Papa Luna Castle: A solid and restrained castle built at the end of the thirteenth century. The walls of carved stone and barrel vaults are suspended over the cliff, 60 metres above the sea. Benedict XIII, el Papa Luna, transformed it into papal residence, adding rooms in the fifteenth century. Later Felipe II changed it to make it an artillery fortress. In the twentieth century in 1931, it was declared an historic monument.
- Church of Our Lady Ermitana: Attached to the castle, the current building dates from the eighteenth century. It is an example of Mariana's devotion, specifically to an image according to the tradition, was given by the apostle Santiago. The "plaza de armas", the magnificant steps and the church square are staged every September "Les Danses" at the end of the local festivities...
- Artillery Park:Former space used by the military, where you will find the medieval city walls and the Renaissance, making it an impregnable place with wonderful views. The most important thing is the tower of the eighteenth century and the beautiful botanical garden with species of original flora. Inside the Artillery Park, from the month of June through to September, there is an exposition of birds of prey and the way they fly.
- Birds of prey refuge: Owls, Eagles, Vultures... all kinds of wild birds that will leave both children and adults with their mouths wide open. All this in the gardens of the Papa Luna Castle.