By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises
In this regions of castles, King Jaume I (James I) granted a petition to move a town from the top of a hilltop down to a fertile plain near the Mediterranean.
And thus was born in 1251, Castellon de la Plana: Castellon on the Plain.
It’s on a handsome stretch of about 75 miles of the Spanish coast with dramatic rocky cliffs, hidden coves, handsome beaches, isolated villages, modernist buildings, 15th century palaces, and some extravagant resorts.
In modern times, the promoters of tourism ask you to call the place the Costa del Azahar, the Orange Blossom Coast.
I went with guests up the coast to the castle-crowned town of Peniscola, at one time a rock cut off from the sea at times, a small version of Mont St-Michel. Its name, from the Latin, means “quasi-island.” That is similar to the origin of “peninsula.”
The castle was begun in 1294 by the Knights Templar. From 1415 to 1423 it was the home of Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna, also known as Papa Luna), one of the Avignon popes during the Catholic schism.
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