Marbella Old Town - El Casco Antiguo
Charming Andalucian Marbella
The old town of Marbella is absolutely charming. The streets are narrow and cobbled, with chic boutiques and local cafés side by side. You will find real hand made clothing and jewellery in the boutiques around the Old Town.
The ancient walled city retains nearly the same layout as in the 16th century. It is the perfect place to walk back in time and re-live history by visiting the historic fountain and a chapel built in the 1400s.
At the heart of the Old Town known as "El Casco Antiguo" lies the Orange Square (Plaza de los Naranjos). Have a Mediterranean meal here amongst the orange trees. The tourist office is here, ready to give you maps and information.
Marbella Historical Centre Attractions
1. Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation
It was constructed in 1505 and named as “Saint Mary of the Incarnation”. The Church had undergone a number of modification, however, it looks a like a cathedral church. The ocher stone doorway in the main entrance was built somewhere in the second half of the eighteenth century with refined taste rococo work.
2. Bazan's Hospital
This hospital was built in the first half of the 16th century. It was built in two stages, and in different architectural styles. Part of the building is in the Mud'jar style of architecture typical of late medieval Spain. Today it houses the Museum of Contemporary Spanish Engravings.
3. Our Lady of Sorrows Niche
The niche is in the balcony of a house that can be dated back to the 17th Century. The statue of the Lady of Sorrows face is lit by two candles at night.
4. Mayor's House
The Mayor's house combines Gothic and Renaissance elements in its fa'ade, with a roof of Mudejar style and fresco murals inside.
5. Castle Walls
The Marbella Castle Walls (Murallas del Castillo) were once part of an impressive Moorish citadel built in the tenth century. Little remains of this once great site nd tourists are confined to viewing this fortification from the outside as it is not open to the public.
6. Santiago's Hermitage
This is the most ancient religious construction in the city, dating back to the 15th century, after the conquest of Marbella. It is a simple building as it has only one square room.
7. Hemitage of Christ of Veracruz
"Hermitage of the Holy Christ of the True Cross" is situated in the Barrio Alto. The chapel was built in the 15th century and later expanded in the 18th century. The main fa'ade has a cover of stone and the rest is finished in lime stucco, as is traditional in many hermitages of Andalusia. The bell tower is square and is covered by a roof of glazed ceramic.
8. Holy Seplecre Chapel
Contains a reclining Christ. During Holy Week, a procession of silence takes the Reclining Christ from the chapel to begin its passage through the historical town centre.
9. Saint Juan de Dios Chapel
The architecture reflects the crossroads of Islam and Christianity with its mix of arches and carved doorways alongside frescoes and religious works of art. The 16th century bell tower is simple yet visible from the street below and decorates a simple stone exterior and carved wooden door with the Coat of the Order of St. John of God above.
10. Engraving Museum
Featuring a valuable collection of art works, the Contemporary Engraving Museum is one of Marbella's most important museums. Housed in an old hospital building which dates back to the 1500s, the Museo del Grabado Espanol Contempor'neo contains many historic and elaborate engravings, together with art works by famous artists, such as Picasso and Miro.
11. Orange Square
Centre of Old Town with Oranges and restaurants. Most of the buildings in the Orange Square or Plaza de los Naranjos were built between 1485 and 1568. The sand stone fountain was erected in 1504 and commissioned by the first Mayor of Christian Marbella. Narrow streets MarbellaThe building to the right of the fountain is the Chapel of Santiago or Ermita de Santiago, which was constructed in the 15th century. A small white stone Statue of Santiago, who was the Apostle Saint James, is on the outside wall of the chapel.
12. Saint Juan de Dios Hospital
The Chapel has a coffered ceiling which, until the middle of this century, remained hidden. It has one nave with wooden framework in three panels, reinforced by double beams which are decorated with Eucharistic symbols such as the Chalice.
13. Marbella Tourist Office
Next to the Town Hall Plaza Los Naranjos Tel: +34 952 823 550 Fax: +34 952 773 621
14. Victory Square
Sit at the Chocolate Y Churros cafe for some drinks and people watch.
15. Marbella Town Hall
Marbella's town hall was built in the 1500s. Exterior features include a sundial at the corner of the building and a cornerstone in memory of the 15th century conquest that recaptured the city from the Moors. The uppermost floor has a Mudejar-style ceiling and several elaborate murals that date back to the building's construction.
Most buses go down the main street and past the Old Town. Get off at Almedra Park. The old town is across the road from the Almedra Park fountain.
From our apartment, catch the L1 bus on the other side of the road just outside our apartment complex. It is less than a 10 minute ride.