MALAGA: PLACES TO VISIT
At the mouth of the Guadalhorce River, where there was a Bastetani settlement, the Phoenicians founded the colony of Malaka in the 8th century BC, which over time came to be known as Malaga. Following a period of Carthaginian domination, Malaka became a Roman colony. Its theatre and public baths have been preserved from that era.
After a period of Germanic invasions, it became part of the Byzantine Empire under emperor Justinian I and in 614 AD it was conquered by Visigoth King Sisebut. After it was conquered by the Arabs, the city flourished and became the capital of the Hammudid Taifa. During that time, Genoese traders settled and Jewish quarters appeared in the outskirts of the city, giving it a great deal of financial wealth. Dating back to this period are the alcazaba and the Gibralfaro castle, from which you can enjoy some incredible views of the city.
In 1487, with the Catholic Monarchs at war against the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, Malaga became part of the Crown of Castile. It was under this reign that construction of the Renaissance-style Cathedral of the Incarnation was started by Juan de Siloé. It is known as “La Manquita”, or one-armed, since it is missing a tower.
A time of great instability affected Malaga in the 16th and 18th centuries, although several palaces were built at that time, such as the Villalón Palace, the Buenavista Palace and the Episcopal Palace, an example of baroque architecture. A great work of engineering was also completed with the San Telmo aqueduct.
In the 19th century, it played an important role in the War of Independence against Napoleon, particularly in the Battle of Bailén with General Reding, governor of Malaga.
Today, a walk through the city takes us to the Plaza de la Merced and Calle Larios, the most iconic pedestrian street. You can also take a stroll around the La Concepción botanical gardens and the Palm Grove of Surprises to end up at La Farola, which was the city’s lighthouse.
Among its museums, worth mentioning are the Picasso museum, the Carmen Thyssen, the Pompidou Centre, the Contemporary Art Centre and the Saint Petersburg Russian Museum Collection, among others.
Malaga and its province are renowned for their weather and their beaches along the Costa del Sol, which boast warm temperatures throughout the year, with villages such as Marbella, Benalmádena, Mijas and Nerja, with its famous caves.
But Malaga is not only coast. Worth mentioning are the Ronda mountain range, the Axarquía region, the white villages like Frigiliana and cities like Antequera, with the Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor, and Ronda, with its bridge over the Guadalevín gorge.
Malaga cuisine is renowned for its typical skewered sardines or its classic pescaíto frito, deep-fried fish tapas. However, other traditional dishes include a rustic noodle soup, gazpachuelo, a fish broth, Malaga salad, made with potatoes and oranges, and porra antequerana, a cold tomato-based soup. A stroll through the Atarazanas market will enable us to find a wide variety of fresh produce that is typical of this region.
Malaga is also famous for its sweet wines that have been produced since ancient times under the designation of origin labels “Malaga” and “Sierras de Málaga”, and for Victoria beer, with its slogan “Malagueña y Exquisita” (from Malaga and delicious).