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Marbella is a true survivor, and its legend is certainly infamous. She grows stronger and more beautiful, she bares no blemishes. History has left great, lasting impressions upon her.
There is evidence earlier than the Roman occupancy, as scientists have found Paleolithic and Phoenician remains. Our story is more concerned with the Roman influence of the town then known as ‘The City of Salduba’, ‘Salt City’.

Roman Settlement in Marbella

In neighbouring San Pedro de Alcántara (known then as Cilniana), a 3rd century beach located spa was discovered in 1926.

Termas De Las Bôvedas

Vaulted Roman Baths (‘Bóvedas’ in Spanish) is a two storey building, octagonal pools and a circular gallery inter-connecting smaller rooms. It was constructed of lime mixed with sand and pebbles, and has remarkably survived; considering it is beachside. This is a true testament to the Architectural genius of the Roman Empire.

Roman Baths in Spain, Hansa Realty

Clever engineering pumped water from the mountains through clay and brick pipes which still exist. Sadly the beauty they would have adorned is lost to us; we can easily imagine though a stunning, myriad of mosaics.
The Roman settlement known as Cilniana (or Silniana) was thought to be destroyed by an earthquake in 365 A.D.

La Villa Romano - Roman Ruins in Spain

The Asociación Vega del Mar are involved in preserving historical areas of the Coast. They hope to create a visitor centre in the Eucalyptus forest and link all three historical, archaeological sites together by means of an 8km walking route. Contact them for guided tours.


Marbella Spas Today

Marbella is full of luxury spa facilities; here are definitely three of the best. Puente Romano has been designed as if it were an Andalucían village. It offers spa facilities at its sister hotel Marbella Club, 5 minutes away. On the grounds of Hotel Puente Romano exists, a small bridge over a stream, century 1-2 A.D. The bridge formed part of the connection of Rome to Cádiz, the Via Augusta route, hence the name of the hotel today. Located on the beach, 800m2 of Thalasso Spa, indoor sea water pool and outdoor pools, relax looking out over the sea.

La Quinta

1.500m2 Arabian influenced Spa. Enjoy bathing beneath the dome, looking up into the star filled evening.

Don Carlos

A modern day minimalistic Spa, have a treatment in the gardens or by the sea if you choose to. Roman baths were the central point for not only cleansing, but to be social and meet with friends or talk over business. As they say when in ROME do as the ROMANS would do, so here in MARBELLA, head off and find yourself a SPA. Not to be overlooked is the ingenious development of architecture and design in Roman times and its influence and impact on society today.

Revolutionary Roman Housing

The Romans developed a far more comfortable lifestyle incorporating piped hot and cold water, toilets, bathing facilities and heating. All our creature comforts taken for granted today. The age of interior decoration began with colourful wall murals and pretend windows, the art of ‘trompe l’oeil’. The envy of any modern day Interior decorator!
Apartment blocks ‘insulae’, were just like modern day apartments of Marbella today, with storage rooms under the stairs and shops below. The major difference being the desire of a penthouse apartment nowadays, boasting expansive views across the town and vistas to the sea, offering more than a sense of space. For ancient Romans, it was more precarious in the chance of a fire. Wealthy Romans opted for more elaborated, generously proportioned houses, to demonstrate their wealth. Mosaic decoration borrowed from the Greeks, impacted the Empire and Roman homes were filled with this colourful decoration of tiling. The Domus accommodated one family and would easily compare today with some of the luxury villas on offer with Hansa Realty.

Roman Amphitheatres

Playing host to many a spectacular, Romans created some of the most impressive amphitheatres known to us. Gladiators, bullfights and public meetings made use of the huge capacity available to them. This demonstrates again the influence with our cultures of today. Marbella has its very own Bullring, the’ Plaza de Toros’, curiously only since 1964. It is used in much the same way as the Romans did. It can host 8,500 people and is the venue for Conventions, Cultural Events, Events with Artistes, Incentives, Product Launches and Sporting Events.

What would Marbella be today if not for its celebration of high end events and parties, playing host to celebrities, tourists and locals alike?


Published in Spain Info |