Marbella has a long and rich history dating back to the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras when primitive people inhabited the area.  Not very much is known about the people of this time, although more and more is being discovered through archaeological exploration in the area.  The known history of Marbella begins during the time of Arab Islamic rule.  At the time of Muslim rule, the area around Marbella was a walled-in area with a castle at the core.   Ruins of the castle and the ancient wall are popular tourist attractions today.

The city remained walled in until the early sixteenth century when Spanish conquerors took over the area and opened it up.  At that time, The Orange Square was created and a number of now-historic sites were built in the area.  It was during this time that major roadways also began to be created, including the street of Nueva.  This was also the time period during which Marbella began to be very active in exports, with the main export being wine.  Malaga wine remains popular to this day.

During the industrialization of the nineteenth century, Marbella became an important area in Spain, acting as the second most import location in the area in terms of industry.  Mining was the main industry of the town, although agriculture, which had been important throughout much of Marbella’s history, remained strong.

In the late twentieth century, people around the world began to notice Marbella and to make it a tourist destination.  As a result, revitalization of the city began to occur.  Investment in the area is strong today and tourism is encouraged.