The Spanish City of Malaga
Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol, and is the coastal city tycoon in Andalusia. Surrounded by mountains, it lies at the southern base of the Axarquía hills, and is encircled by two rivers, the Guadalmedina and the Guadalhorce. The historic centre of Malaga is located on the left bank of the Guadalmedina. It is said that the Phoenicians from Tyre founded the city around 1000 BCE. The name Malaga is probably derived from the Phoenician word for “salt” because the fish was salty in the harbor close to the city. Malaga developed into an important commercial centre during the Moorish rule. During this time, the city was called Malaqah. It was conquered by Christian forces in 1487, five years before the fall of Granada. From then on, the history of Malaga has been one of chaos and downfall. True recovery of the city began only in the 1950s, with the beginning of the tourism industry. Today, the Spanish city of Malaga and its beaches have become one of the most important tourist destinations in Europe.
Spring-like weather and clean beaches make Malaga a favorite tourist destination to the extent that even the city’s coat of arms bears the words “most hospitable.” The beaches lying to the east of Banos de Carmen and El Palo are famous for being the best. Malaga is also famous for being the place where Pablo Picasso was originally born. The city has dedicated a museum to him and is one of the most popular attractions. The ancient Moorish palace of Alcazaba, erected in the ninth or tenth century, offers a stunning view of the city and the bay. Another famous sight is Malaga’s cathedral, often called the little one-armed lady, or “la manquita,” in reference to the fact that its second tower was never completed. The annual Malaga fair, held for ten frenetic days in the beginning of August to celebrate its reconquest by Ferdinand and Isabella, as well as the Holy Week celebrations during Easter draw a lot of tourists. Natives and tourists alike celebrate both events with all-night dancing and singing in the streets and by enjoying the Malaguenan famous fried fish, or “Pescaito Frito.”