Here’s a list of 7 interesting things you didn’t know about Estepona. If you already knew them then hats off to you!
The best way to describe Estepona’s recent rise in popularity whilst Marbella has for decades enjoyed the limelight, is to say it is now the proverbial ‘noisy neighbour’.
Estepona’s first traces of human existence can be put around 5,000 years ago. The Corominas Necropolis was found in the hills above Estepona in 2001 whilst work was being done to the highway just to west of the town.
Dozens of individual skeletons were found with all the treasures of the time, arrowheads, jewellery, semi precious stones etc.
If they find us lot buried in 5,000 years, they will probably find iPhones and Fitbits.
San Luis Castle 1457
The construction of Estepona followed the seizing of the town in 1457 by Enrique IV from the Moors in an attempt to stop marauding pirates invading it and stealing all the goodies.
The construction was ordered by Queen Isabella 1 and was mainly to replace the existing Arab fortification who had named the town Estebbuna.
The Romans and Phoenicians called it Astapa which means ‘People who live near the sea’, although it’s hard to believe that such a creative name wasn’t used many more times and there aren’t a thousand Esteponas dotted around the old Roman Empire.
A Spooky Past 1461
After years of war and adversity, King Enrique IV of Castille invaded and conquered Estepona in 1461.
He then decided that he didn’t like it very much and promptly abandoned the place (bloody cheek), and for four decades Estepona declined and faced absolute extinction.
It was rescued from being a long forgotten footnote in history when in 1502, a guy called Fernando de Zafra, Chief Constable of Marbella back then, was ordered by Royal Decree to make it repopulated and thirty families were ‘encouraged’ (one can only hope with bribery and not threats) to make the town home once more.
Good man Fernando!
In true noisy neighbour fashion, Estepona, for more than 160 years, was under the watchful jurisdiction of the coast’s numero uno, Marbella.
Marbella had control of Estepona since 1552, and only thanks to the written and signed Villazgo Letter by King Felipe V, did Estepona gain its dependency in 1729.
The town, with a whopping 600 inhabitants at the time, took full advantage of this new found freedom and began to flourish.
The Clocktower 1755
In 1755, an earthquake flattened the Portuguese city of Lisbon causing horrific devastation.
In the ensuing chaos, a tsunami flew across the southern coast of Portugal wiping out everything in its path. It was so big and violent that en route to the tiny little fishing town of Estepona, it passed Cadiz and in the process killed more than one third of its inhabitants.
As the wave reached Estepona, the church in the middle of the town was destroyed, miraculously leaving the clock tower still standing, where it remains today.
El Bullring 1972
Whether you like bullfighting or not, it remains a part of Spanish culture and will undoubtedly do so for years to come.
Estepona’s bullring is quite modern having only been constructed in 1972. Antonio Jimenez Ordonez Arajuo was the first man to take on the torro in the ring. He ‘fought’ more than 3,000 bulls in his career.
However, the architect of the bullring, Juan Moro Urbano, designed the only asymmetrical structure of its kind in the world! The exterior is built in such a way that access to the upper terraces is without steps, making it unique in Spain just for this reason.
Today, you might be lucky (or unlucky…it depends on your view) if there is one night of bullfighting during the town’s annual Feria in July.
The rest of the time, the likes of Boney M, Kool and the Gang. E.L.O. and Helen Shapiro have graced its arena to ‘bang out some tunes’.
Biggest Orchidarium of Europe 2015
As Estepona has one of the largest Orchidarium in the world, you will find around 4000 species, among which the largest flower in the world (the corpse flower) and more than 1300 orchids.
Some of these orchids can live to be 100 years old and others smell of vanilla!
Monopoly Board 2018
Christmas 2018 saw the release of a new Monopoly Spain board. More than sixteen and half million votes were cast and lo and behold Estepona came in first place.
Considering there are only twenty two spots to be had for residential (knowing Spain, the rest are probably all tax collection!) it is not a bad achievement at all.
More than 570,000 votes put Estepona right at the top of the heap, placing it in the most exclusive spot on the board…right next to the GO box.
Good news for the property owners, with whopping rents and quite often a part of a game winning strategy.
Today, Estepona enjoys a healthy and peaceful environment for tourists and residents alike. If you would like to know more about the property market and what Estepona can offer you today, then contact us here and we will be more than happy to show you around.