Ibn Battútta – on the perilous coast

The location of Fuengirola has always been vulnerable to boat attacks. One such attack occurred when a famous traveler visited around 1345

The location of Fuengirola has always been vulnerable to boat attacks. One such attack occurred when a famous traveler visited around 1345. Ibn Battútta was born in Tangier in 1304; he explored and wrote about the ancient world as far as China. What follows is his first-hand account of the horrifying danger on the road to Suhayl.

“Marbala is a pretty little town in a fertile valley. I found there a company of horsemen leaving for Malaqa, and I intended to go in their company, but God by his grace preserved me, for they preceded me and were captured.When I had crossed the region of Marbala, and entered the region of Suhayl, I came across a dead horse lying in the ditch, and a little further on a bag of fish thrown at earth.

“That aroused my suspicions. In front of me was a watchtower, and I thought to myself, ‘If an enemy were to appear here, the man on the tower would sound the alarm.’ So I went to a nearby house, and there found a horse killed. While I was there, I heard a cry, but the vision refused me (for I had gone ahead) and, turning towards them, I found the Commandant of Suhayl Fort with them. He told me that four galleys belonging to the enemy had appeared there, and that a number of men on board had landed while the The watchman was not in the tower. The horsemen who had just left Marbala, twelve in number, had encountered this raid. The Christians had killed one, one had escaped, and ten had been taken prisoner. A fisherman was killed. with them, and it was he whose basket I had found along the road.

“I spent the night in the castle of the regiment of frontiersmen on horseback called the regiment of the city. During all this time the bodies in question were lying nearby. The next day he rode with me and we reaches Malaqi, which is one of the largest and most beautiful towns of Andilusii.”

Ibn Battútta died in 1369; a respected geographer, his works were famous in Arabic and translated into English in 1922.

These attacks continued for another century until August 7, 1468, when the amazing story of “Fuengirola” begins.

  • Patrick H. Meehan
    is a resident of Fuengirola for 20 years and author of Fuengirola Revisited, a unique book that tells the story of the place through the ages. Comments can be sent to [email protected] For more information, visit www.fuengirolarevisited.com or follow @fuengirolarevisited on Facebook.