Comunitat Valenciana: Peñíscola

(From Papa Luna’s castle)

In the province of Castellón in the Comunitat Valenciana, Peñíscola has been awarded the title of city since 1707. Presently about eight thousand souls live there. It is considered among the most beautiful towns in Spain.

The city is on a small peninsula…basically a huge rock…separated from the mainland by a small spit of sand. The old town is on the small peninsula as well as the castle of Papa Luna. The modern city lies to either side along a large stretch of sandy beach.

The castle was built by the Knights Templars between 1294 y 1307.

Pedro Martínez de Luna y Pérez de Gotor was named Pope in accordance to the Avignon Papacy and took the name of Benedict XIII of Avignon, although he was called “Papa (Pope) Luna”. The castle became his papal see.

To me it was like walking into another century. Picture yourself on a rock that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea, walking up a winding street…

It was a rather lovely experience from the top of the rock and the Templar Castle was a fascinating experience as well…

Peñíscola is a short distance from Valencia, perhaps an hour and a half by car. Definitely it would be a great addition to your visit to Valencia. I don’t really know about other times of the year, but October is a great time to visit as the weather is pleasant and the crowds are thin, so thin they are hardly visible. You can really enjoy the modern city as well as the Old Town on the Rock and Papa Luna’s Castle…

(Statue of Papa Luna as you enter the Castle)

Here are some of the images of the Old Town as well as the views from the battlements of the Templar Castle, Papa Luna’s home…

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