Marbella is a city located in the Malaga Province of Andalusia, Spain. It covers an area of forty-four square miles and has a population of one hundred and twenty-five thousand residents. Notable residents that have lived in Marbella, or were born there include Antonio Banderas, Sean Connery, Monzer al-Kassar, Mark Langford, Linsey Dawn McKenzie, Dolph Lundgren and Richard Daniel Roman. The city can trace its history back to before the fourteenth century. For a long period of time, the city was under Islamic rule and Muslims built a wall surrounded castle here. It was during this time, that the city was named Marbil-la, which eventually evolved to become Marbella. In 1485, the city was retaken by the Spanish and in the centuries that followed it grew at a brisk pace. By 1941, Marbella was a tiny village that only had a population of eight hundred resident. But, this changed when the automobile of Prince Max Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg broke down in the village. The Prince was so taken by the village that he decided to buy land there to build resorts. Over the next several years, he marketed the village as a tourist destination. In 1954, he erected the Marbella Club Hotel and the village began to grow at a brisk pace.
A popular attraction in the city of Marbella is the church called Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion. Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion was originally built in the early sixteenth century and was done in a brilliant architectural design. It is situated on Plaza de la Encarnacion and is the most important religious site in the entire city. However, what can be seen today was erected in the eighteenth century, because the original building was razed to the ground. The facade that can be seen today was built in 1756 and was done by two prominent artists, Salvador Galvez and Pedro del Castillo. There are three naves which lead to a main altar. It is at this altar that the organ of Sol Major was erected and it is one of the most magnificent in all of Andalusia. The inside of the church also houses some of the many statues that are taken out on parade during Holy Week. One of the more significant of these statues if the Virgen de la Soledad, otherwise known as ”Our Lady of Solitude”.
Another well known attraction in Marbella is the Paseo Maritimo. This is an esplanade that consists of six lanes of road that stretches along the ocean. When walking the path, people can find all kinds of elegant hotels and nightclubs. Along the stretch of the esplanade are almost a thousand palm trees. Some of these are planted along the walkway and some are arranged in garden areas. This route can be walked, or one can rent a horse and buggy to get an unique tour. As you travel the route, you can see windmills that have been converted into nightclubs. You can also stop in on Club Nautico, one of the most popular nightclubs in the Mediterranean. This nightclub is also the starting point for the Copa del Rey de Vela Regatta. As you travel further down the Paseo Maritimo Esplanade, there are various shops and cafes that are willing to accommodate you at any point during your journey. If you continue down the road you will come to a city called Palma, Majorca. Here you will find the harbor of Porto Pi. This harbor is extensively used for commercial traffic, as well as the military. In fact, it is one of the locations where the king anchors his yacht.
For those looking to experience art and culture in the city, then a trip to the Museo del Grabado Espanol Contemporaneo is a must. This museum (known as the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engraving) was founded in 1992 and is situated in old Hospital Bazan. Inside are housed works of art and engravings by Spanish artists. But, the museum also offers various courses and seminars on art and engraving. The Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engraving is also known to sponsor drawing competitions and every year it organizes the National Engraving Awards. The permanent collection of the museum contains art and engravings from the fifteenth century on. This collection of art is representative of both modern and traditional techniques. Each room in the museum is arranged in chronological order, giving the observer a glimpse at the evolution of contemporary Spanish art. Artists represented in the collection of the Museum of Spanish Contemporary Engraving include Eduardo Naranjo, Rafael Canogar, Enrique Brinkmann, Antonio Saura, Gustavo Torner, Luis Caruncho, Eduardo Úrculo, Salvador Victoria, Manuel Rivera, Eduardo Chillida, Jose Caballero, Miguel Rodríguez Acosta, Francisco Peinado, Gregorio Prieto, Jose Hernandez, Guillermo Perez Villalta, Miguel Villarino, Mariano Fortuny, Javier Vilato and Francisco Aguilar.
Other attractions in the city of Marbella include Marbella Club Golf Resort, SphereMania Marbella, Golf & Country Club, Aloha Golf Club, Los Naranjos Golf Course, Puerto Banus Marina, Casco Antiguo, Museo del Grabado Espanol Contemporaneo, Fly Blue Gran Catamaran, Funny Beach, Galeria Municipal de Exposiciones, Artola Golf, Murallas del Castillo, Avenida Ricardo Soriano, Playa de Calahonda, Real Club de Golf las Brisas, Estepona Golf, Cinesa La Canada, La Canada Shopping Center, Fuerte Miramar Spa, Finca Besaya, Boutique El Caballo, Atenas, Centro Deportivo El Fuerte, Museo del Bonsai, Fenix and Mercadillo de Marbella. Marbella is also home to several restaurants and hotels. Popular restaurants and nightclubs in the city include the The Westin La Quinta Golf Resort & Spa Restaurant, Restaurante Buenaventura, Atlantic Club Reserva De Marbella, Restaurante Beach Miramar, Pueblo Andaluz Restaurante, Pinomar Playa Restaurante, Fontanilla, Zozoi Restaurante, Italian Kitchen Bar & Restaurant, Gaspar Restaurante, Jacks American Brasserie and Restaurant Crusoe Beach Cafe. Prominent hotels in the city include Puente Romano Hotel Marbella. Hotel, Atlantic Club Reserva De Marbella, Don Carlos Leisure Resort and Spa, Aparthotel Puerto Azul Marbella, Gran Hotel Guadalpin Marbella Spa, Hotel Meliá Marbella Dinamar, Hotel Villa Padierna, Albergo Hotel Marbella, Hotel Gran Melia Don Pepe and Hotel Linda Marbella.