The monarch widely credited as being responsible for naming the Balcón de Europa and turning it into an emblematic site, King Alfonso XII (1857 – 1885).
The king visited Nerja in 1885 to view for himself the damage caused by the devastating earthquake which took place on December 25th 1884, and it is during this visit he is alleged to have stood by the cliffs and said, ‘This is the Balcony of Europe’.
True or not – there are accounts that it was already being described as ‘the Balcony of Europe’ long before the royal visit – it is an interesting tale.
Did you know? The boulders and rocks beneath the Balcón de Europa are the remains of the old fortified tower which was destroyed by the British in May 1812 during the Spanish War of Independence or Peninsular War. The two rusty cannons on the Balcón de Europa were salvaged from the rubble and remounted.
The Balcón area was previously known as La Batería due to the fact that a gun battery was set up in a fortified tower. In May 1812, the British warships Hyacinth, Termagant and Basilisk were supporting Spanish guerrilla forces in their fight against the French, and on May 20th, Termagant or Hyacinth opened fire and the fort, and another nearby, were reduced to rubble.