Marbella Castle Walls - History and Facts | History Hit

Marbella Castle Walls

Marbella, Andalusia, Spain

The Marbella Castle Walls were once part of an impressive Moorish citadel built in the tenth century.

Peta Stamper

26 Mar 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Marbella Castle Walls

The Marbella Castle Walls (Murallas del Castillo) were once part of an enclosed Moorish citadel built in the 10th century, linked to the reorganisation of the territory following the creation of the Omeya state.

Marbella Castle Walls history

After the Normans lay waste to the coast of malaga in the 10th century, the Caliphate of Cordoba fortified the coastline by building a line of lighthouse towers along it. The Caliphate constructed a citadel, the Alcabaza, and wall to protect the town of Marbella which at the time had a citadel and mosque, surrounded by orchards of figs and mulberry trees for silk. Two defensive towers, known as El Castilo, were also built using some materials from the Roman period, such as Ionic Capitals used on the Polvora Tower.

The castle was used as the political and administrative centre of the city, and the name Marbella likely derived from the Arabic name, ‘Marbal la’. During the first kingdoms of Taifa, a southern kingdom near Gibraltar, Marbella was disputed with Malaga. Peace came to the Marinid and Nasrid dynasties when both signed the Treaty of Marbella in 1286.

After the Catholic Reconquista in 1485, the castle and walls passed to the Catholic monarchs without bloodshed, becoming a small town in its own right as protectorate of the Crown of Castile. The Christians further adapted the walls to reinforce them against artillery fire.

In 1786, King Carlos III ordered the destruction of all city walls in Spain.

Marbella Castle Walls today

Unfortunately, relatively little remains of this once great site, and tourists are therefore confined to viewing the fortification from the outside as it is not open to the public.

However, a visit to the walls can start at Calle Carmen, before going up stairs to Plaza de San Bernabe, continuing at Calle Castillo and then Calle Barbacana, ending at Calle Portada.

You can find an information board and map that describes the 10th century castle fortress and walls as a vestige of the Arabic city. Despite being few remains to fully explore, walking through town you are reminded of the enduring history of Marbella by the warm stone walls set against blue skies.

Getting to Marbella Castle Walls

If you are driving around this bustling town, then find parking nearby the walls at Av. Dr. Maíz Viñals, 25. Bus route 1 will take you to Barbacana stop, a 220m walk from the castle.