Excursions & Getting Around
How about exploring the surrounding to get to know culture and people? Join our exciting, interesting and fun excursions, and you will have memories that last much longer than your holiday.
HISTORY OF BENALMADENA
The first human presence in Benalmádena, that we know of, dates back to the upper Paleolithic (around 20.000 years ago), period in which numerous settlements have been found along the Costa del Sol. In Benalmádena these remains were found in the Cueva del Toro (Mount Calamorro). From this period, there are numerous remains that we can visit in Benalmadena’s Archaeological Museum.
The Phoenicians arrived at the coasts of Benalmádena in the 7th and 8th century b.C., and later on the Romans left many traces behind, like the ruins of small towns and fishing facilities in Torremuelle and Capellania.
The first urbanised areas were only small villages and settlements at the beginning of the 10th century with the arrival of the Muslims.
One century after, Benalmádena Pueblo becomes the centre of the population and the beginning of a social structure due to the construction of a fortress and a walled village.
The name of “Benalmádena” comes from this period, originally from the Arabic “Ibn-al-Madena” (sons of the mines), due to the mines of iron and ocher present in the locality.
After the Christian re-conquest came the darkest period for Benalmádena, where almost all the architectonic remains were destroyed.
Much of the proof of Benalmadena's ancient history has been carried into modern times through the remains of the three watchtowers still evident along jutting rocks along the coastline. Both the Phoenicians and the Romans used these towers in their day.
Arroyo de la Miel still displays the remains of a Roman archway, which leads the way into the important building called La Tribuna. During the time of the Arabic rule, the town was named "Ben Almedana" meaning sons of the mines. Until the time of its destruction, the Castle of Benalmadena was a great defence fortification against intruders.
After the surrender of Marbella in 1485, it was thought that the rest of the coast would be easy to conquer. However, such was the resistance to the Castilian advance that King Fernando had to take full control and drive the forces hard. Although this extra effort led to the surrender of many coastal towns and villages, Benalmadena held on. After much resistance, Fernando ordered the capture of the castle, which was only achieved after an unusually prolonged struggle.
Once the castle was destroyed, the people fled. Six years later in 1491, the Catholic Royals in Granada gave authority to Alonso Palomero of Malaga, to repopulate Benalmadena, under the strict vigilance of the then mayor of Malaga. Benalmadena become the main point of defence on the coast against the many attacks by African pirates who pillaged and raided the area.
The Municipal Archeological Museum in Benalmadena, which opened in may 1970, is of great international importance. Over the two floors of exhibits is a large collection of Neolithic and pre-Christopher Columbus pieces.