The peñón de Ifach and Calpe, is a Roman settlement named The Queen’s Baths in Spanish because of pools carvet out of the coastal rock. Visible from the esplende, these pools form part of a nucleus of dwellings and services that lie on the other side of the promenade. The Roman site of The Baños de la Reina will be transformed into an archaeological park once the excavation work has concluded.When renowned valencian botanist arrived in Calpe in 1792, having been commissioned by king IV to catalogue all of the plants in Spain, he was surprised to happen u pon various ceramic pieces halfwaybetween the town and El Peñón. “ I was examining the coast to observe the plants growing there” wrote and ina limestone hill covered with sand l saw , hmong frankenias lisas de Linneo, a little cubed stone of white marble, and two stops further on l perceived others mixed in with some black ones. Then he went onto explain that “their number and the fact that they were similar to those the Romans used in flooring led me to think that in the immediate area there could have been a building that had been destroyed over time and whose remains had been covered by the sand”.
Alter informing his friends of the discovery, he organised a dig for the following day, and within two days they had uncovered a sumptuous Roman villa with six adjoining rooms, “four of them with mosaic flooring of various designs, and two with very tight mortar”.
Originally believed that the basins and caves excavated in the rock along the seashore were the bathing places for nobles living in the villas, it was confirmed many years later that they were in fact pools used to keep fish alive by feeding them with figs before they were transported to the nearby salting station, which was one of the largest in the Mediterranean.
The Baños de la Reina