With over 3000 years of history, Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the world and is blessed with a rich and varied cultural history. The earliest settlers date back to 1000BC, when the seafaring Phoenicians founded their commercial centre, then named ´Malaca´, on the site. The Greeks and the Carthaginian’s also utilised its accessibility for trade routes over the years, until the 3rd century BC, when the Romans conquered the city to create a colony. They retained power and in AD81 the city was awarded the status of Roman municipality and renamed to Flavia Malacita. It was during this time that the port and the Roman Amphitheatre were established and can still be seen today. This development contributed to the quick economic growth of the region as the port was utilised for the export of wine, oil, raisins, salted fish and meats.
One of the Worlds Oldest Cities
Through the Centuries
The reign of the Romans was brought to an end in 717AD, following the Moorish conquest. The centuries to follow saw the rise and fall of various Muslim dynasties, with the Alcazaba being built and the Gibralfaro Fortress extended during their reign.
It took the Christians almost 100 years to reconquer the city, finally doing so in 1487, where they were able to retain their reign until the 19th century. It was around this time, that the industrial revolution was in full swing with Malaga at the forefront. The main industries of textiles, iron and steel, were controlled by two main families, the Larios and the Heredia.
The start of the 20th century brought with it troubling times for Malaga, as they were tormented with earthquakes, failed harvests, ill health and political instability. This culminated in the Spanish Civil War, which brought General Franco to power.
A new era arose for Malaga in the mid 20th century when tourism boomed and provided an invaluable injection into the local economy. Malaga underwent a rejuvenation of its transport infrastructure improving connections to the neighbouring cities and it is now the third largest city in Spain. Today it is a hub of culture, mouth-watering food, entertainment and charm. Wandering the streets, you can see and sense the impact left behind by each dynasty, but despite being steeped in history, Malaga continues to develop and modernise. The wobbly cobbled streets are a hive of life and activity where you will find a range of talented performers, street vendors and cosmopolitan cafes. Over the last thirty years Malaga has invested heavily into the arts, which has resulted in an explosion of cultural wealth in the city. From the construction of the large Municipal Auditorium, high-tech Convention Centre and galleries of the Alcazaba Citadel, to the restoration of the Roman theatre; Malaga has a lot to offer. Other popular attractions include the Malaga Cathedral, the Picasso Museum and famous Pompidou Center. So, whether you choose to pound the streets, stroll on the sand or walk around the port; you are sure to experience the Mediterranean magic that Malaga has to offer. The streets are alive with culture!