Fuengirola travel guide and photo gallery
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Sailing Day Trip Across The Strait of Gibraltar to Queens Quay
Enjoy a day of sailing across the Strait of Gibraltar from Sotogrande, Cadiz to Queen's Quay with the opportunity to see dolphins and whales..... Read more....View all available Tours in Andalucía 
Fuengirola - Un sol de ciudad
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Feria 2006 - Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen - Fuengirola Train Station
Fuengirola Zoo - International Feria Parade - Marina Fuengirola
Paseo de Maritimo / Beach - Street Scenes - The Sohail Castle

Fuengirola Photo Galleries

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Sohail Castle, Fuengirola - a walk to, and around, the Castle

The history behind the castle - The town of Fuengirola has its origins in Phoenician, Roman and Arab civilisations.

The foothills of the mountain range behind the town to the south are the site of an Arab castle, which contains remains of an early Ibero-punic or Phoenician settlement, later occupied by the Romans, which became a town known in antiquity as Suel. Suel was identified by the Roman historian, Pomponius Mela, as one of the towns of the coast, and was cited by Pliny in the 1st century A.D. as a fortified town (oppidum). A later historian, Ptolemy, identified it during the 2nd century A.D. as being located in the region of the bastulo-penos or Phoenicians.

Click to view the slide show of Fuengirola's Sohail Castle
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The inscription on the pedestal of a statue found near the castle mentions Suel as being a Roman "municipium". A funeral urn found in the same area has an inscription containing the word "Suelitana".

Roman baths were discovered in 1961 and, close by, the remains of a Roman villa containing two sculptures, one of which is the well known "Venus of Fuengirola" exhibited in the town's museum. A series of architectural components, probably transported from the Mijas quarry during the Roman era, were discovered in Los Boliches in 1984; these have now been mounted to form a temple entrance, and can be seen on the promenade at Los Boliches.

The castle was built by Abderramán III in the mid-10th century. The city of Suel ceased to be mentioned at the beginning of the Middle Ages. After several centuries, the name of the settlement changed from Suel to Suhayl, which became the name of the castle and surroundings during the Arab occupation. Suhayl became a fairly large settlement, which included farmland and small villages. Most of the area seems to have been used as pasture for the Moorish rulers' camels.

But in the early Middle Ages the town was set on fire and its inhabitants fled to Mijas. Suhayl became a mound of ruins, and even its name was changed to the Romanised Font-Jirola, after the spring arising at the foot of the castle, according to historian Alonso de Palencia.

In 1485, when only the fortress remained, the settlement was reconquered by the Christian Monarchs. An attempt to repopulate the site with 30 people failed, and in 1511 it was registered as uninhabited, apart from the fortress and a watchtower. Land originally set aside for Fuengirola was reallocated to Mijas.

In the 17th century, a new urban settlement developed, once the threat from Turkish and Moroccan pirates disappeared, and at the beginning of the 18th century, an inn was opened near the beach, offering accommodation to travellers, muleteers and seafarers. A few huts were built nearby, forming a small village.

The Battle of Fuengirola took place in the area during the Peninsular War, on October 15, 1810, when approximately 200 Polish soldiers of the Duchy of Warsaw defeated a mixed British-Spanish force numbering some 3,000 soldiers under Lord Blayney.

In May 1841, Fuengirola was detached from Mijas; at the time its inhabitants were mainly engaged in fishing, agriculture and trading with ships that dropped anchor in the bay. For over a century, fishing and agriculture remained the main activities.

It was only in the 1960s that Fuengirola entered a new phase, to become a leading tourist centre.

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Please note these photos are copyright of All Spain Accommodation.

 

Latest update: September 7, 2016