5 places you didn't know in Marbella Old town
In these times of uncertainty, it is inevitable to think about when we will be able to travel again. While we find out I would like to share with you my insiders’ tips to visit Marbella so that you can get to know more about this mediterranean jewel.
Unknown to many Marbella Old town is a delight for your senses, full of colours, light and shade. Quite often Media provide a very superfluous image of this unique city which, by the way… is a real image but only a tiny part of what Marbella has to offer. Today you’ll be guided through some of the secrets of its cosy and winding Old town.
Calle San Lázaro, Marbella.
Marbella, not only the playground for the rich and famous
Bazan Hospital, where the National engravings museum of Marbella (MGEC) is hosted
1. Whitewashed streets.
In the year 711 the Arabs crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and very soon they settled in Marbella. It was not until 1485 that the Christian troops recovered this enclave, in other words, the Moors were in Marbella for almost 800 years and that is why, centuries after the so called Reconquest, you can still breathe that Muslim essence through its narrow streets. Good examples are Calle Viento or Calle San Lazaro, probably the narrowest street in the Old town.
2. Moorish walls and fortress.
Opposite the main Christian temple in the city, we find ourselves facing a 10th century arab citadel. This is very interesting because not everyone knows that Marbella has a castle in its Old town.
Throughout the years, houses were built against its walls by local people in order to safe building materials. For that reason still nowadays part of those walls can be seen here and there .
In the same Church square, in one of the corners, there are 2 roman capitals attached to the wall. Thanks to this discovery two things are known, the first is that the Romans were on the same spot many years earlier and the second is that the Arabs were great recyclers as it was easier for the to reuse materials found in the area rather than having to go elsewhere to fetch them.
3. Medieval buildings.
As we get through the mysterious Calle Viento we find one of Marbella’s hidden gems, the forgotten Bazan hospital which hosts nowadays the National engravings museum of Marbella (MGEC).
The building dates back to the 16th century and on the inside you’ll find artworks of renowned artist such as Miró or Picasso himself.
4. Secret Courtyards.
Once we reach the Altamirano square in what it used to be the Palace of the Knight Commander back on the 16th century we find a restaurant called the The Farm and on its inside there’s a well that dates all the way back to 1502 in what they call their secret garden.
The Farm Restaurant secret courtyard, Marbella.
Now we are heading towards Calle Virgen de los dolores, probably one of the most beautiful and well known in the Old town. As we climb up the street, on the right hand side we find Marbella Patio Restaurant whose inner courtyard is leaning against what once was the walls of a moorish fortress.
5. Town hall interior.
The most famous spot in Marbella Old town is the Orange tree square. During the muslim period this area was a maze of narrow winding streets which were adapted to the Cristians new needs after the Reconquest. They built a typical Castillian style square to be able to settle their political buildings.
The City hall was built in 1568 and some of its meeting rooms look like a medieval palace. The room of the Fresh paintings contains some artworks that date back to the 16th century.
This is only a small part of what you can discover in this dazzling mediterranean city which is well worth a visit. If you are planning to do so we encourage you to join our Marbella walking tour or just give us a shout if you need any help organising your trip.
Enjoy marbella highlights video
Unveil this unknown city
Marbella walking tour
The Marbella walking tour will give you and overview of this beautiful mediterranean city and the best tips about Marbella.