Like most medieval centres, Marbella was once a walled town. There’s not much evidence of the walls nowadays but the Old Town still has a very enclosed feel to it.
Inspired by recent blog posts on city walls by Molly Sears-Piccavey on Granada and Fiona Flores Watson on Seville, I took a walk around the walls in Marbella. Here’s what I discovered.
The castle made up most of the walls. After the Catholic conquest in 1485, the castle became a small town in its own right, a use that continues today – there’s a primary school, hostal and numerous houses within the walls.
Most of the original walls were lost as the castle town sprawled, but you can still catchthe occasional glimpse. This bit is down Calle Peral and adds a great medieval touch to the roof terrace.
The walls around Marbella originally had three entrances. The Puerta de Malaga in the east, the Puerta de Ronda in the north and the seaside entry, Puerta del Mar.
There’s not much to be seen of them nowadays but the nearby street shrines still survive. Here, travellers would say a short prayer and ask for protection before venturing out into the big wide world beyond.
I also came across this gate near Calle Aduar. I thought the chairs were a nice touch for the weary traveller.
Vegetable gardens and grazing grounds
Like all walled towns, Marbella had designated areas for growing produce and keeping livestock. The vegetable gardens and orchards were to the west of the Old Town and the grazing grounds to the east.
Both have kept their name – Huerta Chica (small vegetable garden) and El Ejido (pasture area) – but there’s no sign of any vegetables or animals in either.