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History of Estepona - Estepona


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History of Estepona - Estepona



Sightseeing - History of Estepona
Sightseeing - History of Estepona

In case you are interested in a little history of Estepona...

The original name given by the Phoenicians was “Astapa” (city of water).

The more important settlement in Estepona from the Roman period is located in the area around the tower by the Guadalmansa River. There, we can find remains from Thermae that could have belonged to a Roman city called Salduba. Various excavations carried out in this settlement have discovered many ceramics, coins, rooms paved with mosaics, column remains and marble statues amongst others. 

From the 5th century AD onwards the fall of the Roman Empire led to the disappearance of numerous settlements, as well as the one from the Guadalmansa River. From this point on, the population gathered in settlements of a bigger size. In these, Christian worship predominated, as proven by the existence of a basilica and its relevant cemetery. One of these cemeteries was excavated in Estepona, in the area of Arroyo Vaquero, revealing some thirty tombs containing individuals buried with diverse ritual objects such as ceramic vases. 

At the beginning of the 7th century the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by the Muslims. During the Muslim times the name changed into Astabbuna. The most relevant settlement from this period in Estepona is the “Castle of Nicio” where the ruins of a castle can be found with remains from the 9th, 10th and 11th century AD (now located in the enclosed market place). Next to it, opposite the Town hall, we can still see remains of a castle built in the middle of the 10th century during the reign of caliph Abdurrahman III. 

This fortress was called Estebuna, a name that evolved into today’s Estepona. Only the lower part of the clock tower and a well, located just underneath the markets courtyard have survived to our day. During this period and surrounded by the continuous fights between the various Muslim kingdoms, Estebuna was reigned by the Taifa kings of Algeciras (11th century), the Almoravids and the Almohads (7th and 8th centuries) and the Merinies (8th and 9th centuries), to finally the Nazaris (14th and 15th centuries). All this time, the city was considered an important strategic enclave of the Straits of Gibraltar, a rich territory with numerous agricultural, livestock, and mining

In 1456, the army of Castilian King Henry IV conquered Estepona. Despite the efforts from the Castilians to resettle the area, the dangers due to its closeness to the boundary of the Nazari kingdom led not long afterwards to abandoning and destroying it so as to hinder its capture by the Moors. Once Granada was reconquered in 1492, Esteponas strategic location led the Catholic Kings to the reconstruction of the old Moorish castle, reinforcing its south flank by the addition of an independent fortress, called the San Luis castle, built with the latest developments of that time in artillery. At the same time, a series of beacon towers were also built all along Esteponas coastline to watch over the territory. From 1502, protected by the castle, thirty families from different areas resettled in Estepona. Estepona was under Marbella jurisdiction until 1729 when Felipe V officially recognized Estepona as a “villa”- village in the “carta de villazgo”.

Carly Says