The Balcón de Europa (the Balcony of Europe) is a well-known landmark in the coastal town of Nerja.
Leading to the semi-circular viewing point with a circular marble, geometric patterned platform overlooking the sea is a lovely palm-tree lined promenade, often packed with visitors strolling along enjoying an ice-cream.
I was particularly fortunate the other day, when I was visiting Nerja and popped along to gaze over the railings of the Balcón, to pretty much have it all to myself.
Well, other than the King, of course!
A bronze statue of King Alfonso XII stands leaning on the railings near the end of the Balcón de Europa, commemorating his visit to the town in January, 1885. The King came to see the damage caused by an earthquake that devastated the region on Christmas Day, 1884.
He was captivated by the beauty of the area and legend has it that he was responsible for naming it “Balcón de Europa”.
It’s not true, of course!
There are two old cannons on the Balcón, near to the statue of the King, which serve as a reminder of the strategic importance of the Balcón in days gone by.
I was particularly drawn to this monument to the five boys (Francisco Navas Montesinos, José Torres Cárdenas, Miguel Muñoz Zorrilla, José Luis Barbero de Miguel and Manuel Muñoz Zorrilla) who discovered the Nerja caves in January 1959.
The town is so proud of them that their names are also written on a plaque at the entrance to the caves, where there is a much bigger monument to honour them.
To one side of the Balcón is this white arched structure, covered with pots of plants which is the perfect place to shade from the hot sun on a summer’s day and admire the view of the east of Málaga.
I’ve seen newly-married couples having their bridal photos taken here, too – but not on that particular day! A perfect spot, don’t you think?
How lucky was I to get the Balcón de Europa to myself? Have YOU ever seen it so quiet?
Whilst you’re here, you might enjoy reading: