Malaga was the second stop of our fall cruise. It is considered the southernmost large city in Europe. The resorts along the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) are very popular with the British so it’s easy to find English speakers and lots of info printed in English. (Truth be told, our very limited Spanish was never tested in the 3 weeks we traveled in Spain!)
Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded originally by the Phoenicians around 770 BC and was subsequently ruled by Ancient Carthage, the Roman Empire, the Visigoths, the Byzantine Empire and, for 800 years, was under Muslim Arabic rule. In 1487 the Crown of Castile gained control.
We took a hop-on-hop-off bus from the port to see the sites. First stop was the 14th century Gibralfaro Castle, at the top of the hill. The earliest construction here dates back to the Phoenicians.
These dioramas show the Cathedral , the Alcazaba behind it, and the castle on the hilltop.
There’s a small museum inside the castle but the spectacular views are the main draw today. (Our ship is on the far left.)
Back on the bus we went down the hill and got off near the Roman theatre.
This was only rediscovered in 1951 when renovations were being done on the Casa de la Cultura. The Culture House was eventually demolished to uncover the site. Built by Caesar Augustus in the1st century AD, this theatre was used until the 3rd century. Much of its construction material such as stones, columns and carved stones were later used for building the Alcazaba, on the hill above it.
The Alcazaba palace is a Moorish citadel built on the remains of an older Phoenician fortress. What can be seen now was built in 11th century and expanded in the 14th C. It was the residence of Arabian kings and the palace fortress of the Muslim governors. It is the most well preserved citadel in Spain.
There were lots of school groups visiting.
Another diorama shows the lay out. We missed getting a map at the entrance. It’s quite a jumble with gardens leading to rooms leading to unexpected dead ends.
I was delighted by this place. It’s a mini Alhambra with lovely photo opts at every turn.
(You can see pictures of another Alcazaba down the coast in Almeria that we toured on another cruise.)
A few blocks away is the Cathedral of Malaga. This Renaissance-style cathedral was begun during the Gothic period in the 16th century and building continued into the 18th century. It incorporated an old mosque and adopted many architectural styles over the years. The current building is still unfinished. The lack of the south tower has given it the popular name of “La Manquita”, the one-armed lady.
Malaga street scenes…
The Ataranzas Market was recently refurbished. There’s a huge stained glass window on the rear wall. By early afternoon most of the stalls were closed.
Park de Malaga
Malaga City Hall
A final view of the Alcazaba.
A wonderful day in Malaga.