One of the oldest Cities in Europe, and one of the most continuously inhabited Cities in the world, Málaga was a Phoenician seaport and one of the main entry points into the Iberian Peninsula due to its natural harbour. The Phoenicians called it Malaka, not too far from how it’s known today.
A beautiful Mediterranean City, there are marble pavements, a mostly pedestrianised old quarter and often a fresh light breeze blowing in from the sea.
The massive Alcazaba fortress looms over the ancient Roman Theatre and close by is the birthplace of the famous painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso.
With its chilled lifestyle, temperate sunny climate, ‘chiringuito’ fresh fish barbeque restaurant shacks on the beach and full of tapas bars and cafeterias, to be a Malagueño explains why the people are so happy.
The second largest City in Andalucía, with a municipal population of around 600,000, Málaga is the southernmost large City in Europe and a bustling seaport with goods/cargo passing through daily.
The Romans took control of the City after the Punic wars with Carthage and built an impressive Roman Theatre on the shores of the Mediterranean. Close by is an original preserved Roman Factory making ‘Garum’ a fish paste flavouring for cooking, transported around the Roman Empire in large jars. Garum become a valuable commodity and even salary for the soldiers towards the end of the Empire.
Málaga was one of the Iberian cities where Muslim rule persisted the longest. While most other parts of the peninsula had already been won back during the Reconquista, Moors still occupied the City. Málaga was retaken by Christian forces on 18 August 1487. The Muslim inhabitants resisted assaults and artillery bombardments before hunger forced them to surrender; virtually the entire population was sold into slavery or given as “gifts” to other Christian rulers, five years before the fall of Granada.
The most famous son of Málaga is Pablo Picasso who was born in the Plaza de la Merced, a lovely square in the old town, and he spent many of his formative years sketching in the square, including many of the pigeons. He is known for co-founding the cubist movement and his paintings are amongst the most valuable in the world. He claimed ’’when I was a child, I could paint like a Master, it took me all my life to learn how to paint like a child”. The family left Málaga for other parts of Spain when Picasso was a young boy and eventually he spent most of his adult life in France.
The legend that the Bishop in charge of the completion of the Cathedral sent the money to the USA to support the Americans in the war of independence against the British, is supported by a plaque inside the Cathedral detailing the event. As a result, the Cathedral is known as ‘La Manquita’, the one-armed lady since she is missing the other tower.
Málaga is a great City of Museums and Arts and is gaining an excellent reputation as a place for visitors.
The old town is wonderful, with marble pedestrianised streets, fine old seaport style merchant houses, cafés, bars, restaurants and many people sitting outside enjoying the atmosphere and beautiful climate.