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Malaga city - history of Malaga see also Malaga today

The long history of Malaga has been enriched by various civilisations that have left their traces on the land. Malaga , with the name ‘Malaka’ (fish salting place) was founded by the Phoenicians about 800 BC and was used as a commercial centre. The Phoenicians were followed by the Carthaginians and finally in 202 BC Malaga fell into the hands of the Roman Empire, was named Flavia Malcita, and converted into an important point of passage as it was connected with other Roman centres on the Peninsula and harbours of the Mediterranean Sea . The Roman Theatre at the base of the Arabian fortress ‘Alcazaba’, is from this era, and, despite its small dimensions, is one of the most ancient in Hispania. When the Roman Empire started to fall in the beginning of the 5th century the coast of Andalusia, including Malaga , was regularly invaded by small Visigoths tribes.

Ayuntamient (Town Hall) Calle Granada Old Malaga Calle Marques de Larios Calle San Agustin

Gardens with bull ring beyond

Ayuntamient (Town Hall)
Calle Granada Old Malaga
Calle Marques de Larios
Calle San Agustin Malaga
Gardens with bull ring beyond

The Visigoths finally conquered the town of Malaga in 623 though their dominance only lasted until 711 when the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula from the south. The first 30 years after the invasion the Moors concentrated on defending and expanding their territories. . It was first in 743 under Abd Al Ariz when the Moors began to expand the town on the existing Roman and Visigoth structure. Malaga was converted into a flourishing town, surrounded by a wall with five huge gates. It remained under the different Moorish Caliphs in Granada , who were responsible for the construction of the two most important monuments in Malaga , the fortress Alcazaba which was started in the 11th century and the castles/ fortress Gibralfaro, which was not finished until the beginning of the 15th century.

Hand of peace Horse drawn transport Parks and gardens Paseo del Parque

Plaza Constitucion

Hand of peace Malaga
Horse drawn transport
Parks and gardens Malaga
Paseo del Parque Malaga
Plaza Constitucion Malaga

In the 14th century the first Christian attends to defeat the Moorish sovereign took place. It was not until 100 years later in August in 1487 when the Christians finally defeated the Moors in Malaga , with an important help from small Christian clans within the town.
After this Malaga started to change its appearance from a Muslim to a Christian town and many of the Muslim families participating in the defense of the town were killed, exposed or sold as slaves. The destruction of Moorish monuments and the construction of churches and other Christian buildings was part of the transaction from Muslim to Christian town. But not all Moorish constructions were destroyed. Examples of this are the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro, which the Christians used, like the Moors, to defend the town from foreign attacks. In 1528 Diego de Vergara began the construction of the cathedral of Malaga , which was finished by his son in 1598. [Insert link to cathedral photos?]

The 17th-18th centuries were bad years for the town. Although the population grew in numbers, the town was hit by several epidemics and earthquakes which ruined several constructions such as the expansion of the harbour.

In the 19th century the town grew faster and the town walls build by the Moors were demolished to give place for the expansion of the town. Napoleon also made his presence felt in the town, but the French domination only lasted two years from 1810 to 1812. In this century Malaga also started to be a popular destination for rich people to spend their free time, which was the beginning to the tourist industry in the area. Important constructions such as the theatre Cervantes (1866), Calle Marqués de Larios and La Alameda (1891) were also from this period. The century finished with economic crisis, new plagues and inundations.

Article written and the photos of Malaga were taken by Jane Young and are copyrighted.

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