Marbella Old Town

marbella-old-town-archesMarbella is not just a crowded town for its natural ambiance and luxury life, but a medieval city that holds a deep-rooted past with much significance in Spaniard history. The Old Town or “Casco Antiguo” is just a testimony to the said statement.

As the name suggests, this part of the resort town is full of historic monuments and objects in those narrow and quite streets, although most of these are now jam-packed with shops, restaurants and cafes.

Here in the Old Town, one can easily view a blend of Islamic and Catholic Spanish culture from the remains of those mixed architectural design monuments. Moreover, the periodical takeover and makeover of the town by different dynasties, and now the foray of modern life have together displays a unique character.

Surrounded by the remains of the old Muslim walls, Marbella Old Town is a home to many interesting sights, including the Plaza de los Naranjos which has been the centre of commercial and political life in Marbella for centuries.

Moorish Walls
Those walls were originally built by the Muslims caliph in order to avoid future invades. However, after the re-conquest of Marbella from the Moorish occupation by King Ferdinand III in 1485 these had some modification, but still stand as some of the rare evidences of Islamic rule.

Plaza de los Naranjos
Dating back to 1485, Plaza de los Naranjos or the Orange Square is located at the heart of the Old Town. Surrounded by whitewashed houses, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful part of the town which offers some quiet places to sit back and relax. Over the years, it has got quite a few names: Main Square, Constitution Square, and Isabel II Square.

The place generally consists of three main historical buildings – a 16th century town hall, the old governor’s house and the Santiago’s Chapel. The gardens inside the square are full of flowers and orange trees from which it derives its name.

– Precisely built in 1568, the Town hall is located at the north corner of the Orange Square. It was a prison during the 19th century but now has been preserved in its old form. The old town is now emerging as a shopping district with significant contribution in the business activities of Marbella.

– The 16th century (1552) built Chapel (Hermitage) of Santiago and the Museum for Contemporary Spanish Engravings are the other two important archeological sites to look for.

Church of Saint Mary
It is one of the most prominent buildings of Old Town that connotes the influence of Catholicism in Marbella’s history. Church of Saint Mary is located at a walking distance from the Town Hall and the Moorish walls. Its entrance gate, made up of red stone, is a perfect example of baroque style of art, architecture [The ornamentation style architecture flourished in Europe in the 17th century].

Magistrates Court
The construction of Magistrates Court or the Chief Magistrate’s House was started in 1552 under the Autrian dynasty. This is one of the oldest buildings in Marbella with an archway on the upper floor. Built with a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance architectural style, the building has a stone facade.

Chapel of Saint John
Dates back to 16th century, “Capilla de San Juan de Dios” or the Chapel of Saint John is a Christian building built by the Spanish catholic ruler in a very simple design. But the presence of a portal with a half point archway and carved doorways with religious touch show the exact impression of a cultural amalgamation of Islam and Christianity.

Eating out & Shopping – Marbella Old Town also has many restaurants where one can enjoy the typical Andalusian cuisines. Besides, there are few shopping centers, and crafts shops where you can buy some gifts materials or objects as precious holiday souvenirs.

The Old Town of Marbella certainly has a great meaning in the history of the city and also to some extent to the entire development of modern Spanish culture and people. Travelers can easily witness the cultural and religious diversity while exploring the historic monuments built by rulers of different times with their inclination to two major religions.

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