Málaga's history spans about 2,800 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded by the Phoenicians as Malaka about 770 BC, and from the 6th century BC was under the hegemony of Ancient Carthage. Then, from 218 BC, it was ruled by the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire as Malaca. After the fall of the empire and the end of Visigothic rule, it was under Islamic rule as Mālaqah for 800 years, but in 1487, the Crown of Castille gained control after the Reconquista. The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian eras make the historic center of the city an "open museum", displaying its history of nearly 3,000 years.
This important cultural infrastructure and the artistic heritage have culminated in the nomination of Málaga as a candidate for the 2016 European Capital of Culture.
The internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol and the actor Antonio Banderas were born in Málaga. The magnum opus of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, "Malagueña", is named for the music of this region of Spain.
The most important business sectors in Málaga are tourism, construction and technology services, but other sectors such as transportation and logistics are beginning to expand. The Andalusia Technology Park, located in Málaga, has enjoyed significant growth since its inauguration in 1992. Málaga is the main economic and financial centre of southern Spain, home of the region's largest bank, Unicaja, and the fourth-ranking city in economic activity in Spain behind Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
The Phoenicians from Tyre founded the city as Malaka about 770 BC. The name Malaḥa or mlḥ is probably derived from the Phoenician word for "salt" because fish was salted near the harbour. (Cf. "salt" in other Semitic languages, e.g. Hebrew מלח mélaḥ or Arabic ملح malaḥ).
After a period of Carthaginian rule, Malaka became part of the Roman Empire. In its Roman stage, the city (Latin name, Malaca) showed a remarkable degree of development. Transformed into a confederated city, it was under a special law, the Lex Flavia Malacitana. A Roman theatre was built at this time. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it was ruled first by the Visigoths and then by the Byzantine Empire (550–621).. It was regained by the Visigoths in 621 and ruled by them until the Umayyad Muslim conquest in 711.
In the 8th century, during the Muslim Arabic rule over Spain, the city became an important trade center. Málaga was first a possession of the Caliphate of Córdoba. After the fall of the Umayyad dynasty, it became the capital of a distinct kingdom ruled by the Zirids. During this time, the city was called Mālaqah (Arabic مالقة). From 1025 it was the capital of the autonomous Taifa of Málaga, until its conquest by the Emirate of Granada in 1239.
The traveller Ibn Battuta, who passed through around 1325, characterised it as "one of the largest and most beautiful towns of Andalusia [uniting] the conveniences of both sea and land, and is abundantly supplied with foodstuffs and fruits". He praised its grapes, figs, and almonds; "its ruby-coloured Murcian pomegranates have no equal in the world." Another exported product was its "excellent gilded pottery". The town's mosque was large and beautiful, with "exceptionally tall orange trees" in its courtyard.
Málaga was one of the Iberian cities where Muslim rule persisted the longest, having been part of the Emirate of Granada. While most other parts of the peninsula had already been won back during the reconquista, the Moors still occupied Málaga. 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.
On 24 August 1704 the indecisive Battle of Málaga, the largest naval battle in the War of the Spanish Succession, took place in the sea south of Málaga.
After the coup of July 1936 the government of the Second Spanish Republic retained control of Málaga. Its harbour was a base of the Spanish Republican Navy at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. It suffered heavy bombing by Italian warships which took part in breaking the Republican navy's blockade of Nationalist-held Spanish Morocco and took part in naval bombardment of Republican-held Málaga. After the Battle of Málaga and the Francoist takeover in February 1937, over seven thousand people were killed. The city also suffered shelling later by Spanish Republican naval units. The well-known British journalist and writer Arthur Koestler was captured by the Nationalist forces on their entry into Málaga, which formed the material for his book Spanish Testament. The first chapters of Spanish Testament include an eye-witness account of the 1937 fall of Málaga to Francisco Franco's armies during the Spanish Civil War.
After the war, Málaga and Koestler's old haunts of Torremolinos and the rest of the Costa del Sol enjoyed the highest growth of the tourism sector in Spain.
Málaga is located in southern Spain, on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) on the northern side of the Mediterranean Sea. It lies at the feet of the Montes de Málaga, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 kilometres (81 miles) east of Tarifa (the southernmost point of continental Europe) and about 130 km (81 miles) to the north of Africa.
The urban area, stretching mostly along a narrow strip of coastline, has a population of 1,066,532 on 827.33 square kilometres (319.43 sq mi) (density 1,289 hab / km² – 2012 data). It is formed by Málaga proper together with the following adjacent towns and municipalities: Rincón de la Victoria, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Alhaurín de la Torre, Mijas, Marbella and San Pedro Alcántara. The Málaga metropolitan area includes additional municipalities located mostly in the mountains area north of the coast and also some on the coast: Cártama, Pizarra, Coín, Monda, Ojén, Alhaurín el Grande and Estepona on west; Casabermeja on north; Totalán, Algarrobo, Torrox and Vélez-Málaga eastward from Málaga.
Municipalities of the metropolitan area are connected by the road network (including motorways) with the urban area and Málaga city (the urban area can be reached by car from the farthest reaches in 20 minutes and Málaga city in 45 minutes). In some usages the metropolitan area includes other municipalities to which Málaga's public transport network extends, at least since the establishment of the Consorcio de Transporte Metropolitano del Área de Málaga (en: Consortium of Transportation of Málaga Metropolitan Area). Together about 1.3 million (max. 1.6 million) people live in the Málaga metropolitan area and the number grows every year as all the municipalities and cities of the area record an annual increase in population.
The climate is subtropical-Mediterranean (Köppen climate classification: Csa) with very mild winters and hot summers. Málaga enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of about 300 days of sunshine and only about 40-45 with precipitation annually. Its coastal location with winds blowing from the Mediterranean Sea make the heat manageable during the summer.
Málaga experiences the warmest winters of any European city with a population over 500,000. The average temperature during the day in the period December through February is 17–18 °C (63–64 °F). During the winter, the Málaga Mountains (Montes de Málaga) block out the cold weather from the north. Generally, the summer season lasts about eight months, from April to November, although in the remaining four months temperatures sometimes surpass 24 °C (75 °F). Its average annual temperature is 23.3 °C (73.9 °F) during the day and 13.7 °C (56.7 °F) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature ranges from 13 to 20 °C (55 to 68 °F) during the day, 5 to 13 °C (41 to 55 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 16–17 °C (61–63 °F). In the warmest month, August, the temperature ranges from 26 to 34 °C (79 to 93 °F) during the day, above 20 °C (68 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 26 °C (79 °F).
Large fluctuations in temperature are rare. The highest temperature ever recorded during the day at the airport is 44.2 °C (111.6 °F). In the month of August 1881, the average reported daytime maximum temperature was a record 34.8 °C (94.6 °F). The coldest temperature ever recorded was −3.8 °C (25.2 °F) on the night of 4 February 1954. The highest wind speed ever recorded was on 16 July 1980, measuring 119 km/h (73.94 mph). Málaga city has once recorded snow in the 20th century, on 2 February 1954.
Annual average relative humidity is 65%, ranging from 58% in June to 72% in December. Yearly sunshine hours is between 2,800 and 3,000 per year, from 5–6 hours of sunshine / day in December to average 11 hours of sunshine / day in July. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. Málaga is one of the few cities in Europe which are "green" all year round.
The old historic centre of Málaga reaches the harbour to the south. In the north it is surrounded by mountains, the Montes de Málaga (part of the Baetic Cordillera) lying in the southern base of the Axarquía hills, and two rivers, the Guadalmedina – the historic center is located on its left bank – and the Guadalhorce, which flows west of the city into the Mediterranean, in the Churriana district.
The oldest architectural remains in the city are the walls of the Phoenician city, which are visible in the cellar of the Museo Picasso Málaga.
The Roman theatre of Málaga, which dates from the 1st century BC, was rediscovered in 1951.
The Moors left posterity the dominating presence of the Castle of Gibralfaro, which is connected to the Alcazaba, the lower fortress and royal residence. Both were built during the Taifa period (11th century) and extended during the Nasrid period (13th and 14th centuries). The Alcazaba stands on a hill within the city. Originally, it defended the city from the incursions of pirates. Later, in the 11th century, it was completely rebuilt by the Hammudid dynasty. Occupying the eastern hillside that rises from the sea and overlooks the city, the Alcazaba was surrounded by palms and pine trees.
Like many of the military fortifications that were constructed in Islamic Spain, the Alcazaba of Málaga featured a quadrangular plan. It was protected by an outer and inner wall, both supported by rectangular towers, between which a covered walkway led up the slope to the Gibralfaro (this was the only exchange between the two sites). Due to its rough and awkward hillside topography, corridors throughout the site provided a means of communications for administrative and defensive operations, also affording privacy to the palatial residential quarters.
The entrance of the complex featured a grand tower that led into a sophisticated double bent entrance. After passing through several gates, open yards with beautiful gardens of pine and eucalyptus trees, and the inner wall through the Puerta de Granada, one finds the 11th- and 14th-century Governor's palace. It was organised around a central rectangular courtyard with a triple-arched gateway and some of the rooms have been preserved to this day. An open 11th-century mirador (belvedere) to the south of this area affords views of the gardens and sea below. Measuring 2.5 square metres (27 square feet), this small structure highlighted scalloped, five-lobed arches. To the north of this area were a waterwheel and a Cyclopean well (penetrating forty metres or 130 feet below ground), a hammam, workshops and the monumental Puerta de la Torre del Homenaje, the northernmost point of the inner walls. Directly beyond was the passage to the Gibralfaro above.
The Church of Santiago (Saint James) is an example of Gothic vernacular Mudéjar, the hybrid style that evolved after the Reconquista incorporating elements from both Christian and Islamic tradition. Also from the period is the Iglesia del Sagrario, which was built on the site of the old mosque immediately after the city fell to Christian troops. It boasts a richly ornamented portal in the Isabeline-Gothic style, unique in the city.
The Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace were planned with Renaissance architectural ideals but there was a shortfall of building funds and they were finished in Baroque style.
The Basílica y Real Santuario de Santa María de la Victoria, built in the late 17th century, has a chapel in which the vertical volume is filled with elaborate Baroque plasterwork.
Other sights include:
In the early part of the 21st century, the city of Málaga invested heavily (more than 100 million euros in 10 years) in the arts to draw tourists and establish itself as a cultural Andalucia destination with 28 museums. Some notable and recently opened museums are:
In 2013 there were 568,479 people residing in Málaga.
The number of resident foreign nationals has risen significantly in Málaga since the 1970s, especially of British and German citizens who move for the pleasant climate. The majority of foreigners live near the coastline.
Málaga is divided in 11 municipal districts.
Málaga is the fourth-ranking city in economic activity in Spain behind Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
The most important business sectors in Málaga are tourism, construction and technology services, but other sectors such as transportation and logistics are beginning to expand. The Andalusia Technology Park (PTA) (In Spanish, "Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía"), located in Málaga, has enjoyed significant growth since its inauguration in 1992 by the King of Spain. In 2010, this high-tech, science and industrial park was home to 509 companies and employed over 14,500 people.
In line with the city's strategic plan, the campaign "Málaga: Open for Business" is directed towards the international promotion of the city on all levels but fundamentally on a business level. The campaign places a special emphasis on new technologies as well as innovation and research in order to promote the city as a reference and focal point for many global business initiatives and projects.
Málaga is a city of commerce and tourism has been a growing source of revenue, driven by the presence of a major airport, the improvement of communications, and new infrastructure such as the AVE and the maritime station, and new cultural facilities such as the Picasso Museum, the Contemporary Art Centre and Trade Fair and Congress, which have drawn more tourists.
The city hosts the International Association of Science and Technology Parks (IASP) (Asociación Internacional de Parques Tecnológicos), and a group of IT company executives and business leaders has launched an information sector initiative, Málaga Valley e-27, which seeks to make Málaga the Silicon Valley of Europe. Málaga has had strong growth in new technology industries, mainly located in the Technological Park of Andalusia, and in the construction sector. The city is home to the largest bank in Andalusia, Unicaja, and such local companies as Mayoral, Charanga, Sando, Vera, Ubago, Isofoton, Tedial, Novasoft, Grupo Vértice and Almeida viajes, and other multinationals such as Fujitsu Spain, Pernod Ricard Spain, Accenture, Epcos, Oracle Corporation, Huawei and San Miguel. Nobel prize-winner Bruce Beutler is planning to set up the biggest mutagenesis research laboratory in the world in Malaga.
The Holy Week celebration, the August Málaga Fair (Feria de Málaga) and the Málaga Film Festival are the three major events held in the city.
Holy Week has been observed for five centuries in Málaga. Processions start on Palm Sunday and continue until Easter Sunday. Images depicting scenes from the Passion are displayed on huge ornate tronos (floats or thrones), some weighing more than 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds). Famous is the royal archbrotherhood of Our-Lady of Hope Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza. They have more than 5,000 members and 600 nazarenos. These tronos highlight the processions that go through the streets led by penitents dressed in long robes, with capirote, followed by women in black carrying candles. Drums and trumpets play music and occasionally someone spontaneously sings a mournful saeta dedicated to the floats as they make their way slowly round the streets. Some Holy Week tronos are so huge that they must be housed in places outside the churches, as they are taller than the entrance doors. Famous is the military procession of "la legion" (Royal congregation of Mena) playing marches and singing their anthem (El Novio de la Muerte) during procession.
During the celebration of the Feria de Málaga in August, the streets are transformed into traditional symbols of Spanish culture and history, with sweet wine, tapas, and live flamenco shows. The day events consist of dancing, live music (like Flamenco or Verdiales, traditional music from Málaga) and bullfights at La Malagueta, while the night fair is moved to the Recinto Ferial, consisting of restaurants, clubs, and an entire fair ground with rides and games.
The Málaga Film Festival (Festival de Málaga Cine Español (FMCE)), dedicated exclusively to films produced in Spain, is one of the most important festivals in the country. It is held annually during a week in March or April.
Most of the population of Málaga professes Roman Catholicism as its religion. Protestants also have a presence in Málaga: one of seven congregations of the Reformed Churches in Spain is based in the city and is the only one that permits paedocommunion, while The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is growing. Sources?
Islam is represented by a growing number of immigrants and a mosque, while the Jewish community (primarily Sephardi) is represented by its synagogue and the Jewish Association.
Málaga is home to three major professional sports teams. These include:
The city has four large sports facilities:
In city and neighbourhood, you can engage in many sports, for example: surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, swimming, diving, skydiving, paragliding, running, cycling, rowing, tennis and golf.
The city will host the 21st World Transplant Games from 25 June to 2 July 2017
The city is an important tourist destination, known as "the capital of the Costa del Sol". An estimated 6 million tourists visit the city each year. Tourists usually visit the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and the Museo Picasso Málaga, the Carmen Thyssen Museum, the old town or the beaches. The Málaga harbour is also the second busiest cruise port of the Iberian Peninsula.
A popular walk leads up the hill to the Gibralfaro castle (a Parador), offering panoramic views over the city. The castle is next to the Alcazaba, the old Muslim palace, which in turn is next to the inner city of Málaga. Other nearby attractions are the Roman Theatre, the old Jewish quarter, the Cathedral, and the Church of Santiago in mudéjar style. A popular walk follows the Paseo del Parque (a promenade that runs alongside a grand park with many palm trees and statues) to the harbour, ending in Calle Larios, the main commercial street of the city. There is also a curious museum, the Museum of the Holy Week, which includes an impressive display of Baroque ecclesiastical items.
The Fiesta Mayor de Verdiales takes place every year on 28 December during which Spain's April Fool Day is celebrated.
The Fiestas de Carnaval, in which people dress in all types of costumes, takes place prior to the holy 40 days of Lent every February. A contest is held in the Teatro Cervantes between groups of singers, quartets and choirs who compete in the singing of ironic songs about social and political issues. The Carnival takes to the streets of Málaga on the week before Ash Wednesday, ending on Malagueta beach with the burial of the anchovy (entierro de la sardina).
International schools in Málaga city:
The city is served by Málaga Costa Del Sol Airport, one of the first in Spain and the oldest still in operation. In 2008, it handled 12,813,472 passengers, making it the fourth-busiest in Spain. It is the international airport of Andalusia, accounting for 85 percent of its international traffic. The airport, connected to the Costa del Sol, has a daily link with twenty cities in Spain and over a hundred cities in Europe (mainly in United Kingdom, Central Europe and the Nordic countries but also the main cities of Eastern Europe: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Budapest, Sofia, Warsaw or Bucharest), North Africa, Middle East (Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait) and North America (New York City, Toronto and Montreal).
The airport is connected to Málaga City and surrounding areas through a transport hub, which includes the bus system and suburban trains and car parks.
The Port of Málaga is the city's seaport, operating continuously at least since 600 BC. The port is one of the busiest ports on the Mediterranean Sea, with a trade volume of over 428,623 TEU and 642,529 passenger in 2008.
The Málaga María Zambrano railway station is served by the AVE high-speed rail system, and is operated by the Spanish formerly state-owned rail company Renfe.
The A45 road leads north to Antequera and Córdoba. The Autovía A-7 parallels the N-340 road, both leading to Cádiz to the west through the Costa del Sol Occidental and Barcelona to the east through the Costa del Sol Oriental.
Empresa Malagueña de Transportes buses are the main form of transport around the city. Málaga's bus station is connected with the city by the bus line number 4, although it is only ten minutes' walk to the Alameda from there.
Málaga Metropolitan Transport Consortium's (Consorcio de Transporte Metropolitano del Área de Málaga) buses are the main form of transport around the city of Málaga and the villages of the Metropolitan Area.
The city has two commuter train lines Cercanías and a light rail system.
The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Malaga, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 49 min. 6% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 9 min, while 8% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 4.1 km, while 1% travel for over 12 km in a single direction.