Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Plaza de los Naranjos, Marbella, Spain

The Plaza de los Naranjos is the center of Marbella. After the Christians took the city in 1485, they made some changes, including making Castilian-style squares in the city. This square was crafted in the 16th century to contrast with the slapdash Moorish streets and alleys around it. The name comes from the orange trees planted around the square.

Plaza de los Naranjos, Marbella

Looking for the plaza

The town hall looks over the square and has the tourist office, which was closed since we visited on a Sunday. We had a nice snack at one of the restaurants.

Bread with olive oil and tomato (more on this in a later post)

Map of Malaga over our table

At the other end of the square is the Casa del Corregidor, or the Chief Magistrate's House. The ground floor is now a restaurant.

Casa del Corregidor

The square also has the bust of King Juan Carlos I.

Juan Carlos I

In the southwest corner the Ermita de Santiago chapel breaks the square-shape of the plaza. The building was previously a mosque, converted at the end of the 15th century into a chapel for Christian worship. In 1905 it became a parish church but slowly became just a chapel. Inside we saw a large nativity scene. We could not get in, however.

Ermita de Santiago

Nativity that takes up the whole church!

Exterior altar

Right next to the church is a little fountain that, of course, J loved.

Spain has lots of fountains, you will see!

On our way out of the square, we saw a hotel with vine-covered outdoor seating for their restaurant. The vines were amazing! You could probably sit there and not get wet in a rain storm (though this area typically has 300 days of sunshine each year).

Gran Plaza Restaurant and Hotel!

From here we went to see the walls of the old alcazaba or fort that dates back to the Moorish period.

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