Malaga is situated on the southern Mediterranean coast, 50 nautical miles from the Straits of Gibraltar and 520 km from Madrid. The capital recorded an average annual rainfall of 470 l/m2 and the average temperature is 18.5 ° C.
The city centre is a combination of ancient design of Islamic heritage, whose imprint can still be seen in some streets such as Calle Granada, together with the urban reforms and rebuilds of the nineteenth century. Calle Larios is the main axis of the historic centre. There are many places of interest: to the east the boulevarde del Palo, with its typical fishermen’s houses, and their bays, leading to the Paseo Maritimo with its beaches. Towards the centre are the Park, the Cathedral, the Castle of Gibralfaro, the Alcazaba and the Roman Theatre.
Above is the Plaza de la Merced, in one of whose houses the great Picasso was born. All these areas are dotted with numerous churches and civic buildings of interest. Dominating all is the nearby Montes de Malaga, a natural park of great beauty.
The first people to set foot on land in Malaga were the Phoenicians who could not only steer the process of civilization of the indigenous people of Malaga with their trade, currency and script, but also incorporated improved agriculture and iron metallurgy, the work of the precious metals and industrial processing of fisheries. They founded Malaka, whose first settlement was located at the foot of Mount Gibralfaro, in the space now occupied by the Citadel. During that time when Carthage dominated the Mediterranean, Malaga experienced a remarkable development in their fortifications while the port was being consolidated.
Later would come the Greeks and later still the Romans who made be much of today’s urban fabric and communication with Seville and Granada. The Romans renamed Malaga Malacca city but maintained the same morphology which could be seen in many existing public buildings. Historians estimate that, by then, the Roman enclosure was about 6,000 square metres and would have been inhabited by some three thousand people. The city would be defended by walls and a passage between it and the Phoenician wall. On the hill of the Alcazaba would be placed the temple, theatre etc. all of which would be part of a regulated set of terraces set on the side of the hill of Gibralfaro. The significance of the area is confirmed by the large number of archeological sites found, among which is the Roman Theatre discovered in 1951.
After six centuries of Romanisation; and another three under Byzantine and Visigothic domination, Islam conquered the Iberian Peninsula, and with it, the territory of Malaga.
During the Muslim occupation the city enjoyed a better time, especially in the commercial arena, standing at the head of the economy of the kingdom. A boom period would end with the war of conquest of the Kingdom of Granada. It was during the Moorish period when the consolidating of the organization and humanization of Malaga’s territory took place.
gricultural production was so important that they came to export various products such as oil, raisins, figs, almonds, and silk, which were be channeled mainly through the port by the Italians, especially the Genoese, who had settled in the city and organized markets in northwestern Europe, even to building a fortified settlement called Castil Genoese, which was part of the urban fabric of the city until the early seventeenth century.
Malaga’s Moorish urban area was distributed according to the Islamic concept of city: a core (the Medina), a defensive fortress that was attached to the residence of power (La Alcazaba, Castillo Gibralfaro) and growth areas in extramural (the suburbs). Therefore, the Medina (now the historic city centre) brought together the main functions of religious, commercial and military activity. But it was the Alcazaba complex-Gibralfaro Castle (which is currently kept a very good condition and which tourists can visit) which was the seat of power. The Alcazaba was fortified and private, complete with a castle and the ‘coracha’ fortifications that were formed by one or two walls separating the fortified area. As for the suburbs, historians point to the existence of two: that of Fontanella, extending from the Gate of Antequera to Granada Gate, and that of el Paja, named for the Islamic geographer Al -Idrisi, extending west of Guadalmedina, comprising the districts of Perchel and Trinidad.
Malaga was incorporated into the Crown of Castile in 1487 after a siege that forced the city to succumb because of hunger. The entry into this new era produced a significant change in the way of the building of the city, although much of the network remained Arabic. Christians reorganized the city to suit their habits and needs, but it was in new construction, and an expansion in the area where the new architecture was more intense and closer. Basically mosques were replaced by churches and there were new religious buildings, especially monasteries. The most important action of the time within the walled city was the opening of new streets, carried out in 1491 to join together by a straight line, the Plaza Mayor (now Constitution Square) and the port area and provide a quick exit for the traffic generated by the port. Of these deserving of special attention are the convents built in the outskirts of the city and on the sides of the historic roads (camino de Granada, camino de Antequera, camino de Casabermeja …). They are the convents of la Victoria, la Trinidad, Capuchin, San Andres and Santo Domingo, today, as is logical, all are within the boundaries of Malaga.
After this period of upheaval, the capital again began to experience economic growth with the momentum of the livestock sector and agriculture. Within the latter are incorporated cereal crops and vineyards. A new commercial drive in Malaga attracted a large number of foreigners in the eighteenth century, accounting for 5 percent of the population. Both in the seventeenth century and in the eighteenth century, in the neighborhoods of la Perchel and la Trinidad new types of construction were developed, the ‘corrals’, by which properties were organized around a central courtyard with multi-family use. Today there are still some in use. Also in the eighteenth century the city experienced a remarkable boom in the urban areas with major changes and large public works. The origin of this expansion was in the large population growth in 1789, growing to almost 50,000. But it was the expansion of agriculture and trade, ideological changes, the new institutions (Maritime Consulate and Terreste or the Economic Society of Friends of the Country), and the loss of hegemony (influence, domination)of the unions in favor of the commercial bourgeoisie, which accounted for large urban change, and also the loss of the value of military structures (the fortified wall was being removed), which consolidated the conventional city, large constructions were made (la Aduana-Customs hall, and the salon de la Alameda), roads were built, and the Habour expanded etc.
The birth of Malaga, from the political and administrative standpoint, was in 1833. At that time, and during the nineteenth century, is when the city acquired an important role in the industrialization process, becoming the second province in this regard in Spain (after Barcelona). This process was in the hands of a few families (the Loring, the Larios and Heredia) who formed the oligarchy of the local mercantile bourgeoisie. But not only did they boost the industry, but also all ancillary operations and needs related to them: the Malaga-Cordoba railroad, Malaga Bank, insurance companies, etc… The immediate consequences of this process on the morphology of the city was the establishment of factories and warehouses as well as the emergence of working-class neighborhoods (Huelin, La Pelusa and El Bulto) especially in the western region of the city, developed by the great works of infrastructural facilities: the railroad and its station, completed in 1865, and the dams and docks that by 1895, expanded the current marking baselines of the time.
But a widespread economic crisis in the last third of the nineteenth century caused the industry and economy of Malaga to become depressed, and this situation was not resolved until the 1960’s. It produced the phenomenon of deindustrialization which, together with a new population growth, created general overcrowding. The population of Malaga soared from almost 90,000 in 1870 to more than 134,000 in 1887. This period coincides with the processes of secularization, developed from 1835 as well as those of urban renewal and internal reform. Secularization in Malaga was especially important given the number of religious buildings which existed. Convents like San Bernardo, Santa Clara, el Angel, Santa Maria de la Paz, las Capuchinas or el de la Merced, among others, were destroyed, leading to a transformation of the historic city centre. New civil buildings were constructed, like those built on the sites of las Ataranzas or la Alhondiga. Of all the reform projects within the centre the opening of calle Larios stands out, this project also included the construction of 12 blocks of buildings. This project was carried out by the Commercial Society ‘Hijos de M Larios’ (Sons of M. Larios’) and was completed in only four years. Since its inauguration, calle Larios has remained until today as the most significant of the city and an example of a correct involvement in the historic fabric of the city. From this period also is the Park, a work that contributes to the environmental quality of life in Malaga.
However, in this period of crisis in infrastructure deficiencies were exacerbated. It was to be during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera that urban issues became a concern. This was a time when the nuclei were peripheral (El Palo, Torremolinos ,…) and so-called ‘cheap housing’ in areas such as Camino de Cadiz, Camino Suárez, Trinidad … Garden City being the largest residential completion of this stage of growth. After the dictatorship, Malaga came back once again into a period of urban slowdown. With the outbreak of the Civil War the urban process stopped, and when the war was over, the reconstruction period started, which would result in the construction of numerous autarchic neighborhoods next to the main axis. These were to be built by the Government through the Home Building Association and the Institute of Housing, in particular the district of Carranque, built in 1955 with 2161 homes. Otherwise there were to be no changes of entity except for the demolition of the block from the Marina and the union of the Alameda Park. At this time important administrative facilities were constructed (House of Culture, now demolished, the Palace of Justice, the Union building, etc.)..
During the late 1950s was when the Costa del Sol began a spectacular tourism development, leading to the arrival of large contingents of migrants and which caused a major construction boom. The population in 1960 was more than 300.0000 inhabitants and in 1975 was over 410,000. Parallel to this process the urban economy was outsourced. The complex urban situation led several groups demanding a new method of building.
Today Malaga is a cosmopolitan city of 545,000 inhabitants which is in a continuous process of transformation and recovery for the good of its citizens and visitors. It drives the regional economy, with a huge pull on construction and tourism. It is the fifth largest city in Spain by numbers of inhabitants and also has the fifth busiest airport in Spain after Madrid, Barcelona, Mallorca, Gran Canaria and Tenerife. It also has the Technological Park of Andalusia, the most important of the community, and authentic high-tech business ventures and a port capable of berthing large cruise ships. But even with this privileged position, both economically and in communications, Malaga’s citizens do not forget their historical roots: Malaga is above all a city open to all, has a friendly and unique atmosphere in which, whenever you visit it, you will be taken to the heart of the ‘Malaguenos’ and enjoy many magnificent days.
Alcazaba de Málaga
Abadía de Santa Ana
Banco de España
Casa de Pablo Ruiz Picasso
Casa del Consulado
Casona del Parque – Casa Consistorial – Town Hall
Cathedral de la Encarnación
San Agustín Convent
Escultura Homenaje a Picasso
Fuente de las Tres Gracias
Church of the Tres Mártires
San Felipe Neri Church
San Pablo Church
San Pedro Church
Church of the Sagrario
Parish Church of San Jose Obrero de Carranque
Parish Church of San Juan Bautista
Santo Cristo de la Salud Church
Mercado de Atarazanas
Monumento al Marqués de Larios
Museo de Artes y Costumbres
Palace of the Justicia
Zea Salvatierra Palace
Palacio de la Aduana
Sagasta 5 Guerrero Strachan
Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta (Bullring)
Santo Domingo Bridge
Rectorado de la Universidad de Málaga
Virgen de la Victoria Sanctuary
Yacimiento del “Cerro del Villar”
Santo Domingo Convent
Cortina del Muelle
The most typical dishes of Malaga cuisine are pescaito frito (fried fish) and ‘fritura malagueña’ but also worthy of mention are other dishes in their cuisine such as ‘colorao’ garlic, olives Aloreña, ajoblanco with grapes, ‘berza Malaguena’, anchovies in vinegar, noodle casserole, kid with garlic, ensalada malaguena, sardines, Andalusian gazpacho, gazpachuelo, gazpacho tostada, migas, sopa gazpacho, many different kinds of fish, sopa malaguena, garlic soup, etc.
As for the pastries of Malaga, start with Torta Malaguena, then borrachuelos, shortbread, ice cream, wine donuts, sandwich cookies or ‘yemas del Tajo’ in the Ronda and Antequera regions, oil cakes and borrachuelos in the Guadalhorce Valley, in the capital there is an endless variety of donuts and candy, borrachuelos, pastry fans typical of the bakers of Malaga, torrijas de Semana Santa (an Easter dish) and Rosca de Reyes, cooked for Kings Night.
From any point on the Costa del Sol, from the west or the east, take the motorway A-7 (N-340), in which access to Malaga are well marked. If you are coming from the interior of Andalucía, take first the signs for Antequera, then take the A-45 (N-331), which leads to Malaga.
Distances from Málaga
Seville 200 km
Granada 131 km
Jaén 173 km
Madrid 543 km