Roman villas (Cilniana and Río Verde)
Residential complex established between the 1st and 3rd centuries CE. It is made up of a series of units arranged around a large porticoed patio that features a fascinating mosaic floor depicting the head of the Medusa.
Within the so-called Roman Marbella is located the alleged city of Cilniana, located near the edge of the beach that runs from the mouth of the river called Guadalmansa to the land of Linda Vista and whose ruins are almost destroyed by the real estate developments. However, there are remains still preserved in the two main fields: the vaults and the early Christian basilica of Vega del Mar.
The villa Cilniana also gives its name to an association that since its inception has fought for the defence and dissemination of the Costa del Sol’s cultural heritage.
Moreover, the Roman town of Río Verde sits about 5 km from Marbella, on the left bank of the Green River. It is reached by road N-340 towards Algeciras. The villa was discovered by a British traveller in the 18th century. However, it was not excavated until the 60s of the last century. At first, he thought they were the remains of ancient Salduba, but soon discovered it was a large Roman villa. The remains found (pottery, marble and metal objects now on display in the Municipal Museum) placed the Roman village in the first century of our era. The site’s main point of interest is its mosaic paving made up of small, cube-shaped pieces in a variety of colours known as “tesellae”.
To the right of the entrance, there is a square room with a mosaic floor whose main exhibit is a reproduction of the head of the Medusa, a symbol of good luck. The rest of the decoration consists of regularly-alternating geometrical shapes, except for the patio, which features several black-and-white representations of the culinary arts, such as animals, ovens, fountains, roasting spits for fish and meat, soup tureens, among others.