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The history of Marbella, Costa del Sol, Spain

Marbella has a diverse history which dates back thousands of years before Christ, when human settlements existed on the Sierra Blanca Mountains which rise above the town.

Human remains dated back to the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages on the mountainsides, and more recent discoveries prove there were Phoenician and Punic settlements in Rio Real in the 7th Century BC.

The Romans also made their mark in Marbella, which can be seen in the Rio Verde Roman Villa, the Guadalmina Thermal Baths and several fascinating monuments in the old town, around Orange Square.

The economic activities of Marbella at this time relied on agriculture and livestock, and also became famous for the production of sweet wine in the 18th Century. As British traveller, Francis Carter stated around this time: "The Marbella wine is very good, drier and tastier that the Malaga wine and with a certain Madeira taste to it. I am sure that if it were well prepared it would be very well appreciated in England, bringing the price up and stimulating the inhabitants to take more care of their vineyards".

This was a far cry from today when Marbella properties for sale are among the most sought after in Europe.

The first industrial estates were built in the south of Spain during the 19th Century, in Angel and in La Concepcion, and to take advantage of the Sierra Blanca Mines, Marbella became a major player in the industrialisation of Malaga, which then became the second most important industrial province on the peninsula. In turn, Marbella began to grow in importance.

In the 19th Century, Marbella started to grow more quickly, and expanded beyond the historic old town. New bridges and roads were built, and new industries were attracted to the town. An iron foundry employed over 1,000 men.

Marbella started to take its present shape after the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), but tourists did not start to arrive until the mid-1940´s, when influential visitors, such as Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe, started the construction of hotels and apartment complexes in the area, which encouraged the rich and famous to spend their holidays in the area.

Marbella first began to attract stars of the stage and silver screen in the 1950´s and 60´s including Diana Dors and Sean Connery who both had holiday homes near the town which was quickly gaining a reputation as ´the place to be seen.’

Many more well-heeled visitors flocked to the Costa del Sol to snap up luxurious properties for sale in Marbella.

During the mid-1940´s, only 900 people lived in Marbella, but the tourist boom in later years increased figures to almost 140,000 in 2015.

Within 50 years, the small fishing and farming village had evolved into an international tourist location, thanks mainly to its incredible climate. Marbella enjoys over 320 average days of sunshine every year.

Today, Marbella and Puerto Banus are known as the haunts of the rich and famous, and both resorts are now much more accessible and affordable than they once were.  With the introduction of budget airlines, thousands of visitors continue to flock to this beautiful part of Southern Spain.

Whether you want to play golf, relax on the beach, sip cocktails at a beach club or enjoy a range of water sports, you will find it in Marbella.  Covering over 25km the Marbella coastline runs from Puerto Cabopino in the east to Guadalmina in the west, and this area is home to some of the most beautiful properties in Europe.

If you are looking for properties for sale in Marbella or you want to rent a holiday home while you explore the region, choose from a wide range of villas, apartments and townhouses to suit all tastes and budgets.

Marbella has a diverse history which dates back thousands of years before Christ, when human settlements existed on the Sierra Blanca Mountains which rise above the town.

Human remains dated back to the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages on the mountainsides, and more recent discoveries prove there were Phoenician and Punic settlements in Rio Real in the 7th Century BC.

The Romans also made their mark in Marbella, which can be seen in the Rio Verde Roman Villa, the Guadalmina Thermal Baths and several fascinating monuments in the old town, around Orange Square.

The economic activities of Marbella at this time relied on agriculture and livestock, and also became famous for the production of sweet wine in the 18th Century. As British traveller, Francis Carter stated around this time: "The Marbella wine is very good, drier and tastier that the Malaga wine and with a certain Madeira taste to it. I am sure that if it were well prepared it would be very well appreciated in England, bringing the price up and stimulating the inhabitants to take more care of their vineyards".

This was a far cry from today when Marbella properties for sale are among the most sought after in Europe.

The first industrial estates were built in the south of Spain during the 19th Century, in Angel and in La Concepcion, and to take advantage of the Sierra Blanca Mines, Marbella became a major player in the industrialisation of Malaga, which then became the second most important industrial province on the peninsula. In turn, Marbella began to grow in importance.

In the 19th Century, Marbella started to grow more quickly, and expanded beyond the historic old town. New bridges and roads were built, and new industries were attracted to the town. An iron foundry employed over 1,000 men.

Marbella started to take its present shape after the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), but tourists did not start to arrive until the mid-1940´s, when influential visitors, such as Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe, started the construction of hotels and apartment complexes in the area, which encouraged the rich and famous to spend their holidays in the area.

Marbella first began to attract stars of the stage and silver screen in the 1950´s and 60´s including Diana Dors and Sean Connery who both had holiday homes near the town which was quickly gaining a reputation as ´the place to be seen.’

Many more well-heeled visitors flocked to the Costa del Sol to snap up luxurious properties for sale in Marbella.

During the mid-1940´s, only 900 people lived in Marbella, but the tourist boom in later years increased figures to almost 140,000 in 2015.

Within 50 years, the small fishing and farming village had evolved into an international tourist location, thanks mainly to its incredible climate. Marbella enjoys over 320 average days of sunshine every year.

Today, Marbella and Puerto Banus are known as the haunts of the rich and famous, and both resorts are now much more accessible and affordable than they once were.  With the introduction of budget airlines, thousands of visitors continue to flock to this beautiful part of Southern Spain.

Whether you want to play golf, relax on the beach, sip cocktails at a beach club or enjoy a range of water sports, you will find it in Marbella.  Covering over 25km the Marbella coastline runs from Puerto Cabopino in the east to Guadalmina in the west, and this area is home to some of the most beautiful properties in Europe.

If you are looking for properties for sale in Marbella or you want to rent a holiday home while you explore the region, choose from a wide range of villas, apartments and townhouses to suit all tastes and budgets.