Remains of Villajoyosa’s Iberian sanctuary now see the light of day

Remains of Villajoyosa's Iberian sanctuary now see the light of day
MALLADETA SITE: Experts working on the Iberaina sanctuary’s landward slopes Photo credit: Villajoyosa town hall

THE Iberian sanctuary above the Malladeta cove is one of Villajoyosa’s most important and largest archaeological sites.

The sanctuary itself is now occupied by a 19th century tower but the original, built in the Fourth Century BC to honour the Mother Goddess Tanit, was constructed to show the sun rising behind Benidorm Island at dawn on the March and September equinoxes.  At the summer solstice, the sun rises above the southernmost tip of the Morro de Toix, the outcrop that divides the bays of Altea and Calpe.

Earlier excavations located part of the sanctuary complex on the eastern, seaward slopes below the Malladeta tor but recent work has concentrated on the top of the hill and the western sections below.


These were originally excavated between 2005 and 2008 and covered for protection but all are now visible.

The worst-preserved zones have been consolidated with a layer of stones without reconstructing undocumented sections, said Villajoyosa’s Historic Heritage councillor Xente Sebastia, who explained that this can easily

be easily reversed.

Paving has also been reproduced in those parts of the complex where this was not preserved and the site has been enclosed with wooden fencing, enabling visitors to view the excavations.

Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.


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