Marbella Old Town
What is popularly known as "The Castle" holds inside it the first and most primitive city of Marbella. It did not take too long for the city to expand outside the city walls extending into the maze of streets that conform today the Marbella Old Town.
The geographical limits of the Arab medina can easily be seen when walking around, that is because the Arabs built extraordinarily narrow streets dominated by non-uniform neither parallel winding routes as the Arabic style is; this style on the other hand still safeguard us from the hot summer sun o heat of the summer sun, allowing us to wander the streets without leaving the shelter of shade covering all of our walking tour through this Old Town of Marbella.
The boundaries of the Old Town of Marbella are:
Heading towards the beach, the Avenida de Ricardo Soriano in this section is renamed and is also known as Ramon y Cajal. This pathway is distinct because it was the main road until the past decade.
From Marbella to Malaga, bordering Nabeul Avenue, which runs on the vaulting of the river, where we discover the Marbella Bonsai Museum, with truly unique pieces , with over 500 years of history and which on the other hand is considered the best Olivos Bonsai museum of the world.
Towards Cadiz, the Old Town is adjacent to the street Huerta Chica, which is perpendicular to Avenida Ramon y Cajal, and the only no pedestrian access to the Old Town.
The Arabic layout of our streets (now preserved almost intact) was significantly amended after the reconquest by Ferdinand and Isabella in the year 1485.
The modification was based almost three unique works:
At first, they proceeded with the demolition of an entire group of houses and streets to make the open space that would occupy the Plaza de los Naranjos. This central square, with time became the administrative and civic centre of the city, with its very typical Castilian urban approach, with open spaces to enjoy the civic and popular activities.
The Spaniards started to build new streets. And these are the Calle del Peral and Calle Nueva. This will change the philosophy of the urban layout of Marbella, then fleeing the chaos of the city that Arabs liked. This whole Castilian Street extends to the northern boundary of Old Town of Marbella, which is configured on the street Salvador Rueda.
The third initiative to mention of the sixteenth century , which was the golden age of Marbella, is a set of government buildings and mansions, separated from each other by several metres.
The largest in size of these buildings is the Town Hall, wich was built by the Catholic Monarchs, and still maintains administrative functions within. On the right side of its facade we see a number of plaques in living memory of the conquest of the city, the water supply in 1632 and then the extension of the Town hall building in 1779. This monument dates from 1568.
But in the Plaza de los Naranjos we can find older buildings as the Casa del Corregidor, which lies to the left of City Hall and next to the St. James Chapel, which dates from 1552. This house is also distinctive for its arch located upstairs. This arch, along with the stone facade that frames the door are authentic relics of the sixteenth century Castilian art, art that for centuries has been overshadowed in it is civic aspect by the secular art of the great religious monuments that still at that time were still being built.
The best Contemporary Engraving Museum in Spain is located beside the Castle.
In front of the City Hall, and bordering the chapel of St. James the Apostle, we can find the first fountain built by a Christian mayor in Marbella. This fountain made of stone, dates from 1504.
After leaving the Plaza de los Naranjos by its rightmost, opposite to the Town Hall, we can see the castle. The entire perimeter remains walled although the wall is some parts is covered by innumerable little houses than today give origin to many establishments which will make our visit to the Old Town more enjoyable.
The street situated next to the wall takes us to the Encarnacion Church, built in 1.618. This great building even today is impressive because of its size and makes us imagine the effort realized in the century XVII for its construction.
In the facade of this great work we can see a Baroque stone doorway with Arabs reminiscences; the archway presents lobed forms, illustrating the virtue of the Andalusians integrating embellishing elements from different cultural influences.
If we continue our way down to the street that passes in front of the facade of the Church of the Incarnation, which is also known as "of the Charity" on the left we find a real architectural and historical point of interest; What we find is the Hospitalillo, and its most showier part, the Chapel of San Juan de Dios.
If we go back to the right, along the street San Juan de Dios, we get to four perpendicular streets. Street whose names have been brought about by the campaigns of the nineteenth century in Africa, showing that Marbella, far from being simply a new tourist city, has been an industrial city, with noble and loyal people to the Crown, where all travelers in these thirty-seven centuries of history, have found shelter in their homes and encouragement in its midst.
Marbella Old Town information
To make this Marbella Old Town guide more complete, find below a link to Wikipedia: