Estepona’s historical background

The town’s origin is a hotly debated topic. It is known that the area was inhabited during prehistoric times, as tools and dolmens have been discovered to the west of the town.

The most accepted hypothesis is that the oldest settlement from ancient times closest to present day Estepona is the Iberian oppidum of Salduba.

In Muslim times, a fortress existed at Al-extebunna, from which the town derives its name.

A notable event in Estepona’s history was an important naval battle off the coast in the year 1342 between 30 galleons.

During the Muslim period in the XV century, inhabitants refused to pay taxes to King Henry IV of Castile, who authorised a Christian invasion.

During the times of the re-conquest, the coast was protected with the construction of a new village and a fort.

Joanna the Mad made Estepona into a dependency of Marbella until the arrival of Philip V of Spain, who granted the town its charter (1729), which reads: “Of my own free will, Certain Knowledge and absolute Royal Power, of which I wish to avail and I do avail as King and Natural Lord, unaware of any higher power at the present time, I hereby exempt, remove and free your town of Estepona from the jurisdiction of the city of Marbella and its district, and I declare it a town in its own right with civil and criminal jurisdiction, invested with high and low plenary delegated authority in the first instance, of which the mayors and commoners who now and forever more come from this town, and the ministers that you may individually appoint may avail themselves and exercise in the town and in its district and territory”.

There was no notable increase in population between the XV and XIX Centuries. The population began to rise at the end of the XX Century, and it has been increasing ever since.

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