The 18th century fortress of Castillo de la Duquesa stands on the coast in the middle of what was once a large Roman fishing village. It has been suggested that the village may have been called Saltum in classical times, but no precise Latin name has survived.
The 1989 excavations unearthed much of the village’s infrastructure, making it one of the largest in Andalusia. It includes baths to the south of the castle now located on a fenced plot overlooking the Plaza del Baños Romanos.
The bath house consists of two large bedrooms and a warm house whose floor heating system is clearly visible. White mosaic floors in other rooms have survived. To the west of the bathhouse between the castle and the main road once stood a Roman villa. To the north of the castle, where the barracks of the Guardia Civil once stood, is the location of the industrial part of the town. It is now a vacant lot.
Fish paste reservoirs were dug here along with water pipes and salt marshes. A little north of the barracks, there is the location of a necropolis or a Roman cemetery. We hope that the excavations will continue and that the extended site can become a historical attraction.
The castle itself was built in 1767 by Francisco Paulino of Seville. King Carlos III of Spain granted Paulino command of a cavalry company. Today, the castle is used as municipal offices and a site for exhibitions as well as a place for wedding and first communion photography. From the Plaza de los Baños Romanos to the sea defenses are a number of quaint bars and restaurants. This is where the seafront promenade ends but continues as a footpath as part of the Malaga Coastal Path. You can walk east to Duquesa Marina and Sabinillas.
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