Archaeologists working in the Tossal de la Cala area of Benidorm, way past Poniente beach, have discovered the remains of a Roman fort and think around 260 soldiers were based in the 26 room building which covered about half a hectare, about an acre.
Around 2100 years old, the fort was constructed in a turbulent period of Spain’s history when many battles were fought between the rebel Roman general, Sertorius, and the forces of the Roman senate under Pompey.
Sertorius and his Romans were allied with the native Iberians and part of his strategy was to build a string of forts along the coastline to prevent the enemy’s ships taking supplies round the coast to the big port of Cartagena, which is still Spain’s main naval base today.
It’s thought that the newly discovered Benidorm fort was the first built and became a prototype for others nearby; at Cap Negret (Altea), Ifach (Calpe), Portet (Moraira) and El Montgó (Dénia).
Naturally, Benidorm Council are cock a hoop about the find, as they see the discovery as adding to the tourist offer of Benidorm which at the moment is more focused on sun and sand than cultural, historical activities.
So what happened to Sertorius? He was never actually defeated by Pompey’s forces and won many famous victories against them, but as the tide of the war began to turn against him, he was assassinated by one of his own men at a banquet and soon after, the Romans gained control of all Spain once again.