Thursday, 29 January 2009

High Rise

Benidorm is famous for many things (not all favourable) but among the most visible attributes of the city have to be the numerous 'skyscraper' buildings which dominate it's skyline. The tallest of them all is, at the moment, the 'Gran Bali' hotel.The hotel - seen here from the hermitage which stands on a rocky outcrop to the extreme southern end of Benidorm - stands some 610ft high and has 52 floors. It was 'topped out' in 1998 and officially opened in 2002. It took 14 years to construct because apparently it was paid for without loans. It remains the tallest building in Spain and the second tallest hotel in Europe. More HERE.

My favourite high-rise building in Benidorm is without doubt the Torre Levante. Finished in 1985 it stands 394ft high and has 35 floors. It was the tallest building in Benidorm until 2002 when the Gran Bali was opened. It remains the tallest building on the seafront - which is up against some pretty stiff competition! It is a dramatic and very slim building which seems to accentuate it's height. More HERE.

The newest addition to the Benidorm skyline is the Torre Lugano. Standing 518ft and 43 floors above the ground, it actually stands higher than the Gran Bali but only because it is built higher up on the hillside below the southern end of the Sierra Gelada and the famous cross overlooking the city.
There are five floors below ground level for car parking and when completed in 2008 it became the highest (but of course not the tallest) residential building in Spain. Sadly a builder, working on the construction died when he fell from the 36th floor in 2006 - which doesn't bare thinking about! More HERE.
When you see these buildings stand up to hurricane force winds, as were experienced in Spain last weekend, you have to wonder how they don't topple like a pack of cards.
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