History of Fuengirola

Timeline of the History of Fuengirola


It seems probable that the Bastulos and other primitive tribes had been present in the area near Fuengirola.


Historical records show that it was Phoenician colonisers who founded Fuengirola. They set up a salted fish trading post that they called Suel, and from there they traded with other Mediterranean cities.

Roman Empire

The Romans made Suel a federated municipality that was assigned by Augustus to the “conventus” of Gades (Cádiz). It is believed that during those times there was a very powerful oligarchy at this place and that its inhabitants worshiped Neptune.


There are hardly any records of the Visigoth era.

Islamic Empire

Under Muslim rule during the caliphate of Abderramán III there was an enlargement of the castle that stands out so prominently on a hill in the western part of the city contiguous to the river that bears the city’s name, Fuengirola. It was in this castle that Enrique II of Castile and the Nazarite Yusuf I signed a truce in 1340 that allowed a resurgence of commerce.
The Arabs changed the name from Suel to Sohail, the name of a star of the constellation Argos that according to legend, could only be seen from that castle.

Christian Era

After the conquest of the region by the Catholic Kigdom in 1487 the castle was destroyed but due to the frequent pirate raids that pestered all that area of the Mediterranean coast, it was reconstructed again.
During the War of Independence, French, English and Spanish armies fought over the fortress due to its status as a strategic defensive location.

Modern Times

The modern name of the town derives from the “girolas”, a craft that Genovese sailors based in this area used for fishing small fish or “boliche”, a word that also was also used in the name of the former detached township of Santa Fe de los Boliches, now a part of the town.

Costa del Sol / Fuengirola / History

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