Marbella has much more to offer than its beaches and climate. The exquisite old town, the casco antiguo, with its winding pedestrian alleys with their hidden corners and tiny squares, laid out behind the ancient city walls, draped with bougainvillaea, jasmine, hibiscus and plumbago, is well worth exploring.
Ayuntamiento de Marbella Address: Plaza de los Naranjos (Marbella)
Established when Marbella was conquered by Catholic king Fernando V in 1485, in the style of those that already existed in Castilian cities elsewhere in Spain, although without arcades. Originally it housed the principal offices of authority: council, jail, chapel of Santiago, magistrates court, granary and market. A road was opened between the surrounding Arabic houses, the calle Nueva, to link the plaza to the Puerta del Mar city gateway.
Casa del Corregidor (magistrates court)
Address: Plaza de los Naranjos (Marbella)
Built in 1552, with an outstanding stone facade, mixing elements of Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
Convento Santísima Trinidad Address: Calle Viento (Marbella)
Situated on calle Viento (wind), this originally occupied the entire block in this part of the casco antiguo as far as the Plaza de la Iglesia. Built at the end of the 15th century, it was founded by the monarchy. Its monks cared for the sick in the nearby Hospital Bazán (now the contemporary print museum). The interior contains a beautifully preserved columnaded cloister as well as a chapel in Gothic style.
Ermita de Santiago
Address: Plaza de Los Naranjos (Marbella)
Considered to be the oldest religious building in Marbella (it is unconnected to the Plaza de los Naranjos, so it is assumed it was built earlier). It is a work from the 15th century, roughly contemporary to the reconquest of Marbella. A comparatively simple building, it consists of just one nave, the ‘cajon’ (box). It is the seat of the local religious fraternities of the Cofradías del Stmo. Cristo del Amor, María Stma. de la Caridad and San Juan Evangelista.
Ermita del Calvario
Address: Calle Calvario (Marbella)
Fuerte de San Luis
Address: Jardines del Hotel El Fuerte (Marbella)
Constructed in the XVIII.
Hospital San Juan de Dios
Address: Calle San Juan de Dios. (Marbella)
The hospital was built in the 16th century, and again was founded by the monarchy. Its original purpose was to provide help to needy travellers. The building combines elements of Renaissance and Gothic architecture, as well as the influence of Mudéjar style, combining Arabic and Spanish architecture. One outstanding feature is the carved stone porch, the great wooden door bearing heraldic shields of St John and of the monarchy, and the chapel roof, as well as a fascinating Mudéjar suit of armour. It is the seat of the local religious fraternities of the Cofradía (fraternity) de Ntro. Padre Jesús de la Misericordia a su Entrada en Jerusalén and María Stma. de la Paz y Esperanza.
Iglesia Mayor Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
Address: Plaza de la Iglesia (Marbella)
This was established as a church in 1505, but the current building was actually completed at the beginning of the 18th century. The structure is based on the classical Basilica plan, with three Baroque naves. The main entrance is stone in the Rococó style. And even though it is relatively new, the church organ is remarkable, one of the most impressive instruments built in Spain in the past 125 years.
Molinos de Río Real
Address: Río Real (Marbella Este / Las Chapas)
These grain windmills are dated approximately to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Murallas del Castillo
Address: Casco Antiguo de Marbella (Marbella)
This magnificent work was begun in the 10th century under the order of Muslim ruler Abderramán III. After the defeat of the uprising led by Omar ben Hafsun, the walls were built to prevent any further rebellion and also to protect the city against any possible attacks from other north African armies. Its construction recycled materials from the nearby Roman ruins in calle Trinidad, where you can still see three capitals, column bases, in the Greek Ionic style. The walls underwent modification in the 14th century. Following the reconquest of Marbella in 1485, the walls were further modified to enable archers to defend the city from emplacements on the walls.
Museo del Bonsai
Address: Avda. Doctor Maíz Viñals, s/n (Marbella)
Come along and enjoy learning about these amazing little trees.
The whole family will enjoy a visit to this museum – home to a large variety of different bonsai species.
Museo Cortijo de Miraflores
Address: Avda. José Luis Morales y Marín (Marbella)
Built on the foundations of a poor house run under the aegis of the nearby Convento de Nuestro Padre Señor San Francisco (where the Albergue África now stands), earliest documents suggest that the Cortijo del Prado de San Francisco was renovated in 1706, by D. Tomás Francisco Domínguez y Godoy. In 1756 the building was extended and gardens designed and planted on the southern flank of the property. The work was completed in 1850 with the introduction of a wide range of exotic plant life from the Phillipines, brought back by D. Tomás Domínguez Artola, the Spanish Intendent General of the Phillipines, on his return from the islands.
Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo
Address: Calle Hospital Bazán, s/n (Marbella)
Considered a work of the 16th century, when it is thought to have been a renovation of three neighbouring Arabic houses, hence the asymmetrical shape of its galleries. It was the residence of Alonso de Bazán, warden of the castle and governor in perpetuity of the city. The building is a mixture of Renaissance, Gothic and Mudéjar styles. It is now the headquarters of the Fundación del Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo.
Paseo Marítimo Marbella
Address: Paseo Marítimo de Marbella (Marbella)
Pila Bautismal Basílica Paleocristiana Vega del Mar (Baptismal font of the Paleo-Christian Basilica of Vega del Mar)
Address: Playa de San Pedro (San Pedro Alcántara)
Believed to have been constructed in the closing decades of the 4th century, coinciding with the renovation of the Roman settlement of Cilniana and probably destroyed by a tsunami in 365 AD, the Basílica and Necrópolis Paleocristiana de Vega del Mar had long been thought to be a Moorish cemetery. Discovered at the beginning of the 20th century during excavations to plant a eucalyptus tree plantation, it was later excavated further by Martínez Oppelt (1914 -15), Pérez de Barradas (1930) and Rafael Puertas Tricas and Carlos Posac, unearthing a lower level that revealed the remains of the basilica and a surrounding burial ground with over 180 interred remains of a distinct typology that date to the earlier Paleo-Christian era.
Plaza de los Naranjos
Address: Plaza de Los Naranjos (Marbella)
Sited at dead centre of the casco antiguo, the square is the site of the Casa Consistorial, ayuntamiento, as well as other sights, not least its orange trees.
Teatro Ciudad de Marbella
Address: Plaza Ramón Martinez , s/n (Marbella)
See our dedicated section on Theatre in Marbella .