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Marbella celebrates past and present

The entrance of King Ferdinand the Catholic and his entourage by the town wall.
The entrance of King Ferdinand the Catholic and his entourage by the town wall. / JOSELE-LANZA
  • Last weekend, actors recreated the moment when the keys to the town were handed over to King Ferdinand by the Umayyad empire

It was 11 June 1485 when King Ferdinand the Catholics took the town of Marbella from the Muslims. The walls, the remains of the Alcazaba and the Royal Hospital are all that remain from that era. Horses, men in armour and other costumes of the time, clergymen and even musicians participated in a historical re-enactment last weekend which culminated in Ferdinand the Catholic king and his entourage entering the Plaza de los Naranjos to visit the church of Santiago.

It was a “voluntary, bloodless handing over of control”, according to the President of the Marbella Cultural Institute of Ferdinand the Catholic, Antonio Díaz Aroca. “We want to reclaim the history of Marbella, the pride that comes with being from here and the memory of the events of the Middle Ages,” He added. Fifty people took part in the recreation of the event on Sunday.

The following day, as happens every 11 June, the local people of Marbella celebrated the town's patron saint, San Bernabé.

The event included processions in the streets carrying the image of the saint to the music of the town band accompanied by flamenco dancers, singers and local councillors.

The festivities took place on one of the hottest days so far this year, with temperatures reaching 28 degrees Celsius at 1.30pm. The heat was no obstacle however to the observance of the religious ceremony, with the saint leaving the Iglesia de la Encarnación at 1pm and returning two hours later.