Plaza de los Naranjos

 

The English name for Plaza de los Naranjos is Orange Square. It is the heart of Marbella and is one of the most beautiful plazas in the Costa del Sol. The square was constructed in 1485 with a Christian design on the orders of King Ferdinand, who wanted a Castilian plaza. All of the buildings around the square are whitewashed. It is a typical Andalusian plaza that has many orange trees which have given name to the square. When the orange trees are blooming with flowers, their perfume wafts through the square. In the middle of the square is a fountain that dates to 1604. There is also a bust of King Juan Carlos in the middle of the square.

The plaza has the City Hall and this was ordered built by the mayor Juan de Pisa in 1568. The facade has balconies with wrought iron, where the city officers observed festivities in the plaza. Inside there are Mudejar touches and painted frescos, and also the coat of arms of Marbella and Felipe II. The façade has a solar clock and several coats of arms. There is the date of June 11, 1485, the date the city was conquered by the Catholic Kings from the Moors. The date of 1632 shows the date that fresh water was brought to the city. The date of 1779 shows when the building was enlarged.

The plaza also has the Casa del Corregidor, a palace which dates from 1552. The style is Renaissance and there is a facade made of stone. Another building in the plaza is the Ermita de Santiago (Hermitage of St. James) that was built at the end of the 15th century, and predates the plaza. It is very simple and has only one nave. This chapel is used by the Cofradia del Santisimo Cristo del Amor and has a statue of San Juan Evangelista, which is paraded on the streets during Holy Week. The church has a polychromed statue of Christ in the Neo-Baroque style.

The plaza is filled with the terraces of restaurants. At night the scene is memorable with the lights of candles on the tables. There are many good stores on and around the square. Close by are some beautiful streets, such as Calle Remedios, Calle de los Dolores, and Calle San Cristobal. Many streets feature colorful potted geraniums on the walls of the houses and their balconies, very typical of Andalusia. Marbella may be a modern city, but it has not forgotten its past.