A beautiful inland Spanish town, only minutes from the coast, Coin is an ideal destination for those seeking to get away from the action on the coast.
Coin is situated in the fertile valley of the Rio Grande, approximately 21 km inland from Marbella. The coastal mountains meet the Guadalhorce Valley between the cork oak and pine woods of Alpujata de Coin.
According to archaeological finds made in the Cerro del Aljibe area of Coin, people have lived here since the first century B.C. Tombs and ceramic pieces found in the Llano de la Virgen area show evidence of a medieval settlement in the area, although we know the Romans stopped off here too.
It was the Moors who began to build the town at it now stands, making Coin one of the most important loctions in the region. Abderraman III raised the defensive walls over the remains of the ancient Roman settlement. The Moroccan traveller, Ibn Batuta llamó, called Coin "A beautiful castle with many trees and fruit groves". Coin achieved a high level of economic well-being, due in no small part to the commercial talent of the Jews who traded successfully in wine, olive oil, figs, raisins and almonds.
Coin later became a market town and a transition point for the minerals being quarried 5 km to the south in the Sierra Blanca. Marble from these quarries was certainly used in the construction of the Roman town of Italica, which once stood close to Seville, and was the birthplace in 76AD of the future emperor, Hadrian. The quarrying of marble and the mining of iron ore went on well into the 19th century. During the time of the Visigoths, who supplanted the Romans as rulers of the peninsula, the town lost its lustre and appears to have been deserted and left to fall into ruin. By the time the Moors resettled and rebuilt it around 929 AD, virtually all its Roman heritage had been lost and what little was left disappeared in the rebuilding.
One of the most picturesque, yet sombre places in Coin is the shrine of Nuestra Señora de Fuensanta, the patron saint of Coin. The beautifully preserved chapel stands on top of a hill beside the ground which is used for the annual pilgrimage. The location and views are magnificent, but the sombre note is struck by the now abandoned house which stands close by in a field. In 1893 it was the site of a brutal murder in which the local priest was shot by intruders who believed him to have hidden away a cache of money. The story of the crime and its aftermath were told in Bartolomé Abelenda's book, "The Coin Crime".
Coin is a scenic and untouched Spanish town that has also seen much industry. It is a forward thinking place, while remaining relatively untouched by the international influences to be found on the coast.
Nightlife is lively, with something to suit all tastes, from traditional tapas bars and bodegas and good restaurants to modern air conditioned wine bars to night clubs and discos. It is also lucky enough to have two ferias, or fairs, each year in May and August and these are enjoyed to the full with music that continues each night until 4 or 5 am.
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