Marbella, 100 kilometres square and 24 kilometres of beach, is known all over the world as one of the classiest and most beautiful holiday destinations in Southern Europe. It has everything: beaches, mountains, old world charm, cosmopolitan atmosphere and services, countryside and city, and a wonderful climate that keeps the temperatures cooler in summer and warmer in winter than the rest of Malaga province. From Cabopino to Guadalmina, passing through the pleasure ports of Marbella and Puerto Banús, the coastline is fine sand all the way, and the land that goes back from the beaches is a paradise of luxury housing developments, golf courses and beautiful mountain scenery. It is little wonder that Marbella has attracted the rich and famous for many decades, and that many people who come here on holidays decide to stay.
Sport Harbour of Marbella
The history of the town goes back to Palaeolithic times, as we can see from archaeological remains found in the area. Then the Romans came and settled, leaving clear evidence of their presence in the area, especially in the Las Bóvedas area and the Villa of Río Verde, with its exceptional mosaics.
In Marbella too is one of the most interesting Visigoth remains in the country, the basilica of Vega del Mar, which the Moors called the "well lived in," and there built a fortress that has survived the passage of time. The urban centre they built on the spot is now Marbella's Old Town, with aristocratic buildings like the Hospital Bazán and convents that hold a permanent place in the history books of this nation: from one of them the ransom of Christian prisoners, among them Cervantes, was negotiated. In modern times, Marbella has been a mining town and an agricultural centre before becoming what it is today. It was the capital of the iron industry in this country in the 19th century, with three plants in La Finca de La Concepción and three in the El Ángel area, belonging to the Heredia and Ejiró families. A full 75 percent of all the iron produced in Spain came from the El Peñoncillo works at that time, but it closed down in 1931. Competition from Northern Spain sank the industry in the south when coke replaced vegetable fuel in the production process. But Marbella was also a pioneer in agriculture in Andalucía, with the Marqués del Duero farm and, on a lesser scale, the El Ángel farm making an industry of what had previously been a subsistence activity. At the end of the 19th century, the aristocrat Manuel Gutiérrez de la Concha designed what is now San Pedro Alcántara, the biggest farming entity built in this country, covering 10,000 hectares of land.