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Marbella History

Along Marbella’s history many cultures have settled here, like the Visigoths, Vandals and Byzantines, who have left reminders of their cultures in form of archeological remains. As well we can find important roman vestiges in form of the fortified settlement in the historic centre.

One of the city´s most important constructions was the Moorish Castle or Alcazaba (al Kasbah in Arabic). Initially, the castle had a purely military purpose but later it was modified and a perimeter wall was build around the town (Medina).

These defining boundaries are known today as the Old Town centre and it´s perimeter was formed by the streets Peral and the Portada doorway to the north, Huerta Chica Street to the west, the Wall streets Fortaleza and Muro to the south and Represa to the east.

In the year 1485, after the Reconquista, the Moors handed over the keys of their city Marbiliya to the Catholic Kings. Then stared a period with a lot of fortification work on the castle and the city itself and several watchtowers were built along the coast.

You could enter or leave Marbella via three gates. The Ronda Gate (now Puente de Ronda Square) to the Northeast of the city and named after the town to which the road led. To the South, La Puerta del Mar (The Sea Gate) which also takes its name from the road which led to the capital of the province.

The 16th century was important for the town in terms of development and growth. During that time took place the construction of the Plaza de los Naranjos and the Calle Nueva, which connected the beautiful square to the Puerta del Mar.

It was during the 17th century that Marbella began to expand beyond its city walls to the North, being its main road being the Calle Ancha (Brode Street).

One century later, gradually stared building up the new district Barrio Nuevo around the old road to Málaga. Here is still to be seen the historic site of the Cruz del Humilladero, where King Fernando the Catholic worshiped God in reverence after the recapture of Marbella form the Arabs, on the Patron Day of San Bernabé on June, 11th 1485.