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Duquesa

 

The serene beaches of this coastal corner of Manilva possibly were not 16 centuries ago. Unbeknownst to the holidaymaker who steps on the sand which at the beginning of V century was occupied by the boats that transported an entire people, the Vandals, into Africa. The invaders left then behind the Iberian Peninsula and what, according to some theses, gave rise to the name of Andalusia: Vandalia or Vandalusia.

Centuries before its traumatic (from them comes the word “vandal” in Spanish ) arrival, Sabinillas began to be the destination of Roman settlements in the time of Emperor Augustus, not only commercially, but possibly residentially, as evidenced by the Roman villa found by the sea, with their baths, of course. Latinos, they being so practical, took the previous indigenous people heirs to the first settlers and visitors to the Bronze Age. No doubt the Phoenicians were the first who captured business opportunities in the coast and who probably spread through the Mediterranean its climate goodness and ease for the establishment of factories.

Precisely the appeal of the coast for its anchorage and proximity to Manilva, of which it is a district, put Sabinillas on the centre of the desire throughout the centuries, a shows the remains of the watchtowers and The Castle of Sabinillas or the Duchess actually a fort built in 1767 by King Carlos III, as prevention against the attacks of North African pirates and unwanted visits from next British colony of Gibraltar. It is curious that this king, who was the promoter of the first excavations at Pompeii when he was monarch of the Kingdom of Naples and the Two Sicilies, would allow to used for the construction not only the same plot of the forementioned villa, but the majority of its materials as well.

The garrison of the castle gave way to the use by police, first, and the Civil Guard until relatively recently this privileged enclave to guard the coast, which today can be visited and hosts events of all kinds.

Regarding the name of this location it may have its origin in the erection of the castle, around which it would begin to re-establish the population, mainly fishermen. Perhaps because St. Louis was the saint of the day, as usual since the time of Christian conquest, or because during the reign of Carlos III territories with this name linked to either the saints or one of his brothers they were repopulated, Luis I, who reigned only 229 days. Sabinillas is the diminutive of juniper, a plant in times abundant in the beaches where population overlooks today.

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