After the Second World War, Marbella was a small village with a population of only 900 people. After Ricardo Soriano, Marquis of Ivanrey, moved to Marbella he popularised it among his rich and famous friends. In 1943 he acquired a country estate located between Marbella and San Pedro called El Rodeo, and later built a resort there called Venta y Albergues El Rodeo, beginning the development of tourism in Marbella.
In the early decades of the 20th century the first hotels were built: the El Comercial, which opened in 1918, and the Miramar, which opened its doors in 1926. During the Second Republic, Marbella experienced major social changes and contentious political parties mobilized. In the 1980s, Marbella continued to be a popular tourist destination.
Marbella is a city and municipality in southern Spain, belonging to the province of Malaga in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is part of the Costa del Sol and is the headquarters of the Association of Municipalities of the region; it is also the head of the judicial district that bears its name. Marbella is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, between Malaga and the Strait of Gibraltar, in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca. The municipality covers an area of 117 square kilometres crossed by highways on the coast, which are its main entrances.
In 2012 the population of the city was 140,473 inhabitants,making it the second most populous municipality in the province of Malaga and the eighth in Andalusia.
Plaza Naranjos 1,
29601, Marbella, Spain
As in most cities of the Andalusian coast, Marbella's economy revolves around tertiary activities. The service sector accounts for 60% of employment, while trade accounts for almost 20%. The main branches of the service sector are hospitality, real sstate and business services, which fact underscores the importance of tourism in the Marbella economy.
The number of business establishments in the service sector accounts for 87.5% of the total, those in construction account for 9.6%, and in industry, 2.9%. Of these companies, 89.5% have fewer than 5 employees and only 2.3% have a staff of at least 20 employees.
In 2008 a study by the Institute of Statistics of Andalusia (IEA) based on 14 variables (income, equipment, training, etc.), found Marbella was the Andalusian city with the best development of the general welfare and the highest quality of life. According to the results of the study, Marbella ranks highest in the number of private clinics, sports facilities and private schools.
The old town of Marbella includes the ancient city walls and the two historical suburbs of the city, the Barrio Alto, which extends north, and the Barrio Nuevo, located to the east. The ancient walled city retains nearly the same layout as in the 16th century. Here is the Plaza de los Naranjos, an example of Castilian Renaissance design, its plan laid out in the heart of Old Town after the Christian reconquest. Around the square are arranged three remarkable buildings: the town hall, built in 1568 by the Catholic Monarchs in Renaissance style, the Mayor's house, which combines Gothic and Renaissance elements in its façade, with a roof of Mudejar style and fresco murals inside, and the Chapel of Santiago, the oldest religious building in the city.
The beach-front in Marbella is 27 kilometres of coastline within the limits of Marbella divided into 24 beaches with different features; however, due to expansion of the municipality, they are all now semi-urban. They generally have moderate surf, golden or dark sand ranging through fine, medium or coarse in texture, and some gravel.