Everything you need to know about Marbella

Basilica Vega del Mar

Calle Eucaliptos, Urb. Linda Vista Playa, 29670 Marbella
Tel: +34 952 781 360
Opening Times: Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays 11.15 - 14.00

The Basilica Vega del Mar is located in Calle Adelfas, right next to the Lindavista urbanization in San Pedro de Alcántara and it is currently free to view.

If you wish to visit outside these times, you will have to arrange it with the Tourist Office in Marbella or San Pedro.  Call +34 952 768 767 It has since been extensively renovated with elevated wooden walkways, a perimeter fence and information boards.

This early Christian church was built between the IV and VI centuries and is one of the few remaining ruins of the Byzantine domination of Southern Spain. The church has two apses at each end and a large 1.1 metre deep baptistery.The relics discovered show the rectangular boundaries of the building that once stood at the site and the internal floor plan.

Within the outer walls, there is clear evidence of three halls. The main hall has three aisles separated by stone pillars and it is flanked by two side halls. The east and west sides of the building are marked by the appearance of two semicircular apses. The west apse is the principle one. It is in the centre of two rectangular chambers.

The Basilica is on a well known Roman route that stretches from Cartagena to Cádiz and it was once part of the Roman city of Cilniana. The original church is thought to have been destroyed in the ruinous earthquake that occurred in the Mediterranean in the year 365 AD. Evidence discovered at the site in the form of gravestones and coins suggest that the existing edifice was built in the VI century on top of the relics of the earlier construction. A tombstone (coloured “Constantine Crimson” after the Emperor Constantine) discovered on the site is arguably the oldest tombstone found anywhere in Spain. This demonstrates the site´s considerable importance in Spanish history. At that time, all new members of the Christian faith converted from the Roman faith and adults and children were baptised by immersion. The baptismal pool is a single piece of solid marble.

These ruins are the only surviving example of its type in Europe. Both in and outside the basilica there is a NECROPOLIS, with close to 200 tombs of various types, with the most common being that of brick, making it one of the largest Roman burial sites in Spain. The relics were discovered in the early XX century when foundations were being laid in the area for a eucaliptus plantation. As the beds were being dug out, artifacts and evidence of the structure were uncovered along with evidence of human remains, as well as the objects that accompanied the dead. Such as clay vessels, coffin nails and personal objects, coins, belt brooches, etc.

Engraved headstones were also found, such as the one dedicated to a girl called Firmana, and a piece of marble with drawings of eagles and rabbits.

Important ítems discovered on the site are now exhibited in the National Museum of Archaelogy in Madrid, the Provincial Museum of Malaga and a few in the Archaeological Museum of Marbella.

Little is left of the building apart from ts foundations an the beginnings of the walls. In its construction, large boulders were used with lime mortar, using bricks in some corners. On the floor and on the walls remains of roman cement can be found. The ceiling could hve been of wood beams and large plain boards.

Basilica Vega del Mar

Calle Eucaliptos, Urb. Linda Vista Playa, 29670 Marbella