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Manilva

Manilva is a municipality which lies on the coast at the southwesternmost edge of the province of Málaga on its border with the province of Cádiz in the autonomous community of Andalusia in Spain. It belongs to the comarca of Costa del Sol Occidental.Manilva’s strategic position, close to the entrance to the Mediterranean, has resulted in a long history of settlement in the area going back to the Stone Age. In recent years traces of these early settlers has been found in caves in the Sierra Utrera, a ridge of limestone which runs behind the town. There is also a historically important Bronze Age hill fort which is currently the subject of a programme of excavations by experts from across Europe.It is during the Roman period, though that the area first enjoyed prominence, as it was the site of a thriving fish processing industry, which exported products, including the highly prized garum paste (a kind of “Gentleman’s Relish”) which was in much demand back in Rome. Remains of the factory, a villa and bathhouse can be found today in Castillo de la Duquesa, one of Manilva’s coastal villages.It was in the 16th century that the town of Manilva itself was founded, although a part of the neighbouring municipality of Casares, it gained its independence in 1795 and has grown ever since. For many years the chief industries were fishing, agriculture and viticulture. Manilva’s vineyards are famous for their moscatel grapes, used for the production of raisins and fine wines.Since the 70s, when the Marina and golf course were built, tourism has been added to this list, and in recent years Manilva has enjoyed the status of one of the Costa del Sol’s fastest developing municipalities, with almost a trebling of the resident population in the last 10 years.
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