Marbella History

Everyone knows something about Marbella as it is today, but what do you know about its history? 

What was it like in Roman times? When did the Moors arrive in Marbella? How did it become one of the most popular European holiday destinations? We seek to answer these questions and more in this brief history of Marbella. We have initially divided Marbella´s history into two sections – Marbella’s Early History and Marbella in the 20th Century.

We would appreciate contributions from any members of our readership who know more about Marbella’s history than we do. So, if you have specialist knowledge or you know someone who does, please contact us today.

The Town Hall in Marbella’s old town

Marbella Early History

Archaeological excavations carried out in the mountains around Marbella indicate human habitation in the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras. Some historians believe that the first settlement on the present site of Marbella was by the Phoenicians in the 7th Century BC.


Marbella in the 20th Century

The first hotels were built in Marbella in the early 20th Century between 1918 and 1926. During this period, Marbella experienced major social changes driven by contentious political parties.