The town's prettiest square retains its original Renaissance-style fountain, 15th-century chapel, stately mansions and, of course, the orange trees that give it its name. Plaza de los Naranjos which is also referred to as Orange Square was the center of commercial and political life in Marbella for centuries. What's now the Town Hall was a prison during the 19th century. Fortunately, it has been carefully preserved and restored and offers a wonderful environment in which to relax.
Parque de la Alameda is a lovely park full of greenery, with shade trees for passers-by, jasmines and bougainvilleas is half-way between the Paseo Maritimo boardwalk and the old part of the city. In the middle of the 18th century they stopped planting botanical species. At that time, it took up around 20,000 square meters and stretched as far as the old castle walls. Land was gradually lost as it was needed for new buildings. The park has been revamped several times becoming what is now known as Avenida del Mar, with half a dozen sculptures by Salvador Dali. In the center, there's a large ceramic fountain, surrounded by ceramic benches. This is where the very old get together and retell their old love stories between the branches of the trees.
Originally built in 1505 with a surprising architectural design and size for the period, this church stands in Plaza de la Iglesia and is one of the city's most important landmarks. Most of the current building, however, was raised in 1712. The main façade dates from 1756 and is the work of the artists Pedro del Castillo and Salvador Galvez. The three naves lead to the main altar inside, where the magnificent organ of the Sol Mayor (C Major) stands, one of the most beautiful in Andalusia. In the beautiful interior, some of the statues that are paraded through the street during Holy Week are housed, including the Virgen de la Soledad (Our Lady of Solitude).
Ayuntamiento de Marbella was established under the rule of Catholic king Fernando V, in 1485. The architectural style of the place, is seen in the Castilian cities around Spain but without arcades. The Ayuntamiento was used as a government office including those of council, jail, chapel, magistrates court, granary and the market. A new road was specially developed to connect the building with plaza Puerta del Mar.
Ermita del Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz was constructed in the 16th century. A tower was added to it, in the 18th century. A small bell tower is located on top and the outside walls of the chapel are covered with stone and lime wash. The roof is covered in glazed ceramic tiles fired in the city itself. This chapel is located in the plaza with the same name and is regarded as the oldest church in this locality.
This is the city's main artery and the shopping area par excellence. The man who gave his name to this popular avenue was originally from Salamanca but he soon earned the nickname "the Marbellan" and the title of the city's "adopted son," granted by the town hall in 1952. He was responsible for bringing private investment and the tourism industry to Marbella in the 1940s and 1950s. Real-estate investor and promoter of the city, he built residential zones, an unusual thing to do at that time. He may have been forgotten over time, but the avenue that bears his name still represents the best of the city. Wide and seemingly endless, especially if you're seeing it on foot, it's lined with shops, fashion boutiques, restaurants, and cafés.
Ermita de Santiago was built around the 15th century and is a very simple building. It is also considered to be very old for it remains unconnected architecturally. This building is the center of the local religious groups like Cofradías del Stimo, Cristo del Amor, María Stima, la Caridad and San Juan Evangelista. The building consists of just a nave and a cajon (box).