Vicente Aleixandre, the distinguished Nobel prize-winning poet, described Málaga as the “City of paradise. You seem to reign under the heavens, over the waters, between the air”; a city in which different peoples and cultures have left an imprint of their rich historical and cultural heritage.
Málaga, fenced in by mountains and fractured by the mouth of the Guadalmedina river, looks upon the Mediterranean with its maritime vocation and medley of villages. The Phoenicians arrived by sea and founded the settlement of Malaka. From its port they ferried their products (fish, silk, figs, wines, raisins, almonds, etc.) throughout the Roman Empire, receiving from Rome Lex Flavia malacitana ensuring their privileges.
Under Arab domination it became one of the most important cities of the area, with a population of fifteen thousand at the end of the 10th century. Capital of the Moorish Hammudí kingdom, it was a flourishing city when the famous traveller Ibn Batuta said in the 14th century that “it combined the advantages of both the inland and the seaside”.
The recapturing of Granada by Ferdinand, the Catholic Monarch, and the subsequent revolts leading to the expulsion of the Moors, seriously affected its development in the 16th and 17th centuries. Prosperous trade with America and improved communications turned it into one of the main commercial centers in Spain during the next century. The confrontation between the absolutists and liberals led in the second half of the 19th century to industrialization and an economic boom at the hand of the textile, and iron and steel industries.
The decline of these industries at the end of the 19th century brought it to a lull from which it bounced back with more vigor than ever thanks to tourism starting in the 50’s, consecrating it as capital of the sun and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain.
Category: Costa del Sol destinations