Málaga was founded by Phoenicians in the 12th century BC and was at various times a Carthaginian, Roman, and Moorish colony. Under the Romans, and especially under the Moors, it developed into a strong military station. It was captured in 1487 by Spanish Christians after a heroic resistance. 3.000 years ago the Phoenicians landed in Málaga, they called it MALACA (probably from the word malac - to salt) and they used the harbour as an important centre for salting fish. The fortress overlooking Málaga was originally Phoenician and the interesting archaeological museum housed in the Moorish Castle, beneath this fortress contains Phoenician pottery excavated from the fortress and nearby burial grounds. The Greeks followed the Phoenicians in the 6th century B.C.
Málaga was further developed by the Romans, who colonised Spain in 218 B.C. and stayed for more than six centuries. They enlarged the fortress and built a theatre as its base, which is now partly excavated and open to the public. In 711 B.C. the Moors invaded Spain and called her Al-Andalus. Málaga became a major Moorish city and port, famed for Figs and Wine. It was one of the last Moorish cities to fall to the Christian conquerors, Isabella and Ferdinand in 1487. Málaga's history is so visible as you walk around the city. It does not take much imagination to whisk yourself back to Roman times at the Roman theatre, or to the Moorish Court with its cooling foundations at the Castle. Or the splendid court of Isabella and Ferdinand at the great Cathedral or nearby 16th century Palace which houses the Museum of Fine Arts.
Major sights in the centre include the cathedral and several churches, each with its own distinctive style. There are also some excellent museums. These are all located within a small area, the highlight being the Alcazaba and the Castillo de Gibralfaro with their fantastic views of the town and bay. Spain's celebrated painter, Pablo Picasso was born in 1881 in the corner house of an elegant yellow-toned block on Plaza de la Merced. His birthplace was declared an historic-artistic monument in 1983 and in 1991 it became the headquarters of the Picasso Foundation. The centre has been created to foster cultural activities including the promotion of contemporary art with a special emphasis on Picasso himself.
Art and Popular Customs Museum / Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares. This attractive small museum is housed in the Meson de la Victoria, a former 17th century inn, now attractively restored. The museum is on two floors and was created to give an insight into the past ways and customs of the people of the region. The first rooms which display agricultural items, open out onto an attractive courtyard with tropical plants.
Archaeology Museum / Museo Arqueologico. Within the main palace of the Alcazaba is the Museo Arqueologico which is contained within a series of courtyards with Moorish decoration and has a room with a fine Mudejar ceiling. There are exhibitions from the preshistoric, Pheonician, Roman and Moorish times, plus ceramics, glassware, coins and Alcazaba models.
El Parque: Málaga's city park which runs alongside the Paseo del Parque, was created at the end of the 19th century making use of land reclaimed from the sea. The park contains beautiful tropical flowering trees and shrubs. Many of the unusual and exotic species were brought from overseas, including Cuba, when Malaga was an important world trading centre.
Jardin Botanic-Historic ' La Concepcion '. Just outside Málaga, Finca de la Concepcion is another magnificent botanical garden. There are regular guided tours of the gardens which pass through exotic trees and plants, Roman sculptures and a waterfall.
The Coast of Málaga From Nerja to Manilva, this Spanish province on the Mediterranean is distinguished by its wonderful climate and first class facilities, making it an attraction for tourists from all over the world.
Thanks to its gentle climate, with 320 days of sun a year, this stretch of Mediterranean coast in southern Andalusia has for years been an ideal holiday spot. A part from its broad beaches, there are magnificent tourist facilities, and the hotels and restaurants - as well as sporting installations and entertainment spots - are continually being improved.
The capital, Málaga, was first a Phoenician colony and later came under the control of the Greeks, Carthaginians, Visigoths, Arabs and Christians. Today it is a maritime city rich in culture, some of whose remains are on view at the Archeological Museum. The friendly people and wonderful climate also encourage a stroll through the old walls and the remains of the Muslim palaces of the Alcazaba fortress, through its gardens next to the sea - they are adorned with palm and orange trees and jacaranda - and on to discover the house where Picasso was born, there on the wide, lively Plaza de la Merced. Or take in the view of the city from the top of the Gibralfaro Castle.
Málaga's old town is charming, with narrow streets that still have a Moorish air, Baroque facades and little squares, and the hidden corners that preserve a nineteenth century air. There is plenty to see in both the old part of the city and in its more populated neighborhoods, next to the port or the beach at El Palo.