Benicarló, on the Spanish eastern coast, has a population of 20,000. Benicarló is both a modern city and a seafaring town with traditions.
The oldest known settlement in Benicarló is the Iberian village of El Puig whose origins date back to the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age (VIIIth century AD).
Present-day Benicarló dates from a small Arabic farms. The town got its charter from the ubiquitous Jaime I in 1236, where it is called "Benicastló". In 1359, the town was granted its independence from Peñíscola.
The town developed with the typical defensive arrangements of a moat and city walls (which were destroyed in 1707). Today you can still see these early streets in the old quarter.
The Convent of St. Francis (XVI century was built in 1578, and reconstructed extensively in the XVIII century. However the original single nave without side chapels remains. It is now the City Museum, and houses permanent exhibitions on ethnology, archaeology, the Fallas festival..
The Old Quarters. Buildings here include "Bosch House" which has a modernist façade; the Renaissance style "House of the Baroness", and the "House of the Marquis of Benicarló" , with a lintelled doorway and a heraldic shield, a great double staircase.
The Old Prison in the main street houses exhibitions and contains the Municipal Archaeological Museum.
The Church of St. Bartholomew (XVIII century) with a Baroque facade, freestanding spiralling columns, and a octagonal, freestanding tower. It has has a single nave with a transept and chapels between the buttresses. Above the transept is a great dome. Inside the church, there is a remarkable panel by Vicent Masip painted around 1520.
The «Cristo del Mar» Chapel is located very near the fishing port and marina. The present-day chapel was opened in 1924.
The Hermitage of St. Gregory (XVI century) is 2 km from Benicarló. A late Gothic building with a wide portico, formed by five arches of worked stone. Inside the hermitage is a 16th century carving of the saint in painted wood. On the 9th May, the saints day, there is a fiesta here.
From north to south the beaches along the coast of Benicarló are:-
Mar Xica is 1 km long pebble beach, open to the sea.
A promenade runs south to Morrongo Beach, next to the fishing port. This beach is in a cove and is a fine sand beach about 250 metres long and has the Blue Flag award.
Gurugú Beach is 800 m long and is of pebble and sand. It is largely unspoilt .
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