Learn Spanish » Spanish Culture Blog » Malaga
With its foundation over 2800 years ago, Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the world. A city that lies nestled among mountains on the Andalusian coast, Malaga has an abundance of historical sites, as well as modern renovations, making it culturally diverse and a hugely popular tourist destination. The sixth largest city in Spain, Malaga also has several beaches, which during the long, hot summer are incredibly popular.
- Malaga has an incredibly rich history, with Roman and Moorish buildings lying alongside the more modern and contemporary architecture
- One of the most famous cities in Spain, Malaga has a well-renowned university that attracts a huge student population, but the city has something to offer everyone, with the pleasant climate and long days making it a very desirable location
Originally founded by a Greek population in 770BC, Malaga remained under their rule until the Romans invaded in 218BC. After the Roman Empire fell, Malaga fell to Islamic rule, and the Moors had the city for the next several centuries until the Reconquest by the Spanish in 1487, after which it remained under Christian rule. The centre of the city is full of monuments and landmarks from the Greeks, Romans, Moors and Christians and Malaga is often referred to as an ‘open museum’ due to the unenclosed nature of many of the attractions.
Perhaps the most famous features of this Spanish city are the Roman Theatre, the Alcazaba and the castle that sits atop Mount Gibalfaro. The Roman Theatre sits in front of the Alcazaba and is a stunning spectacle of Roman architecture that is often full of people enjoying the evening sunshine or enjoying an open-air performance. The Alaczaba is a relic of the Moorish occupation of the city. It is at the foot of Mount Gibalfaro, and has wonderful views of the city and coastline below. The palace houses many artefacts that were discovered in the excavation of the site, and these are all on display inside the palace walls. The Castillo de Gibalfaro is the castle that lies above the Alcazaba at the top of Mount Gibalfaro. It is famous for its defensive location, and today the walls are all still standing allowing visitors to enjoy the views across the surrounding area, and there are various viewpoints on the walk up to the castle, that really do show this breathtaking city at its best. The city also has a cathedral and bull ring, both of which are equally beautiful and steeped in history. And we cannot forget to mention the world famous Picasso Museum which houses almost 300 works from this great artist that was born here in 1881.
Malaga, Spain also plays host to several large events throughout the year. There is the Carnival in February, as well as notorious Christmas and New Year celebrations, but most the most famous celebrations are during Semana Santa (Holy Week). Throughout the week prior to Easter, processions with floats depicting religious scenes tour the fully-lined streets long into the night and a celebratory atmosphere descends on the city; they really are amazing!
The culinary specialties in Malaga are the fried fish that you can find in chiringuitos along the beaches. The sardines or pieces of cod are cooked over an open barbecue and have a delicious smell and flavour. Aside from this, the Andalusian specialty of gazpacho is very popular and is freshly made in numerous restaurants, and of course traditional Spanish tapas can be found all over the city, with many fresh fish tapas on the menus.