The Alcazaba was once the fortified residence of the Moorish rulers and governors. The citadel was started... in the 11th century by the Zirids and extended considerably in the 14th century by the Nasrid dynasty; after all, Málaga was the most important port on the kingdom of Granada. The residence comprised several courts situated within a double circular wall.
Much of the fortified walls with their square towers are still intact. Visitors enter through two gates, the "Puerta de las Columnas" and the "Arco de Cristo" in the area between the inner and outer walls. Another gate leads to the palace rooms in the inner circular wall, the "Cuartos de Granada". They were built in the 14th century, although an arcade consisting of three horseshoe arches in the style of the caliphate is dated back to the 11th century. You will also find ruins of houses with inner courtyards that would have belonged to a working class residential area. From various points in the citadel you have a splendid view over the city.more
Mijas is a very beautiful whitewashed village around 30 km (18 miles) west of Málaga high up in the... mountains.
Its beauty has not gone unnoticed and the village attracts a lot of visitors - there's no denying that. Nevertheless, it is worth a visit, as Mijas is clearly different from most of the other coastal towns. This place shows just how charming an Andalusian mountain village can be. The houses are whitewashed and sturdy, with wrought-iron bars and bright flowerpots decorating the façades. The streets and alleys wind their way, somehow usually upwards, through the village. A town map is superfluous, as you are bound to hit on the few attractions anyway, for instance the little bullring which, unusually for bullrings, is oval in shape or you will come across the almost 400-year-old village church. If walking is too strenuous, you can always do a round on a donkey taxi (burro taxi).more
Another white village? - Yes, and this one around 60 km (38 miles) east of Málaga should have no problem... at all winning the title of most beautiful village in the province.
It is situated in the mountains barely 6 km (3.8 miles) from the coast, has around 2,500 inhabitants and has largely been able to preserve its architectural heritage dating from the Moorish era. This means it is best to leave your car down below and walk through the steep, narrow, winding streets. Frigiliana as a whole is a work of art with largely traditional architecture consisting of small, flat houses all dazzling white. Dotted around the village are a few bars and shops, which visitors stumble across more by accident. The more slowly you walk through the village, the more of its beautiful details you will notice. A town map wouldn't help anyway, so it's better just to follow your own nose. Ideally, you should continue right up to the highest point in the village, where the strenuous up-hill climb will be rewarded with a fantastic panoramic view.more
Work began on creating the Paseo del Parque on a strip of land near the port back in 1897. This work... on the park on both sides of the path, the Paseo, continued for almost 30 years.
The roughly 800 m (880 yd) long, but relatively narrow park has an almost tropical lushness. The climate of Málaga, which is mild all year round, means that a wide range of different plants from all continents can blossom here. Tall palms and other exotic trees provide shade. Little plaques inform about the botanical names and regions where the plants come from. The park also has a number of small areas containing monuments. Especially valuable is the "Fuene de Carlos V.", a 16th century well. Despite the unmistakeable traffic on the thoroughfare nearby, the park remains an oasis where you can truly relax.more
High up from Mount Gibralfaro, visitors have a fabulous view down onto the bullfighting arena, which... is not at all far from the city centre.
Built in the Neomudéjar style, the Plaza de Toros was inaugurated in 1876. It is situated at the end of Paseo de Reding not far from the Playa de la Malagueta. The audience space has room for at least 14,000 spectators. Bullfights take palce especially during the feria in August.
Since 1999 a small museum is located in the arena. It is named after Antonio Ordóñez, a legendary torero from Ronda who made a lot of appearances in Málaga. There are photos and many historical posters on display, including one advertising the very first corrida and one of the 100th anniversary celebrations. There are also several costumes belonging to matadors, the gold-embroidered "trajes de luce", as well as a few stuffed bull's heads. The representation of the different phases of a corrida (bullfignt) is also quite interesting.more
The remains of this large fortress lie high up on Mount Gibralfaro (132 m) overlooking the city. It is... said that a lighthouse once stood here. The fortress was built during the Nasrid era, in the 13th and 14th centuries, and especially had the task of protecting the Alcazaba at the foot of the mountain, with which it was connected by a defensive corridor.
While the extensive circular wall is still quite intact, there are very few traces left of the buildings inside the wall. It is possible to walk on the circular wall, from where you will have a spectacular view over the entire city. The fortress was used by the military until 1925. The powder magazine is home to an information centre, in which weapons, uniforms and other tools of war from various epochs are exhibited. A model of the city provides an overview of how Málaga has developed over the years. As the road to the Gibralfaro is quite steep, it is a good idea to take city bus number 35 from the Alameda Principal.more
The aquatic musem Aula del Mar ("Hall of the Sea") promotes itself not only as an exhibition space, but... also pursues two main aims: On the one hand, it aims to protect and research the flora and fauna of the western Mediterranean and teach children in particular, on the other hand, it aims to give the general public insight into the fascinating underwater animal kingdom. This is achieved through several viewing aquariums on the ground floor.
Visitors can view more than 500 live specimens representing more than 100 different species living in the Mar de Alborán, the western part of the Mediterranean, such as sharks and rays as well as aquatic invertebrates, like octopi. The "Patio de Tortugas" is dedicated to turtles, which are cared for here and then returned to their natural environment. A documentation deals with the subject of "man and the sea". Films are shown regularly in the adjoining cinema and there are also temporary exhibitions on the topic "The Mediterranean as a Habitat".more
Museo del Vino first opened in July 2008. It is housed in an 18th century building, Palacio Biedmas,... and has set itself the challenge of familiarising visitors with the wine culture of the Málaga region, which is well known for its sweet desert wines.
On the ground floor, which contains a multimedia room, visitors can view more than 400 lithographies and large number of bottles and boxes. The exhibition on the top floor introduces visitors to the history of winemaking in he region, explains how the "vino de Málaga" is made and also the differences betwen the different wine types. A tasting rounds off a visit to the museum. In the museum shop you can find wine and rasins as well as sun-dried muscatel grapes, from which the wine is made, and various other accessories.more
Iglesia del Sagrario parish church is located directly beside the cathedral. The current building from... the early 18th century replaced a previous building from the 16th century that was built in the courtyard of the former main mosque.
On the exterior building you will notice the many figures on the portal on Calle Santa María designed in the Isabellian Gothic style, which is likely to have been planned as the entrance to the cathedral that was to be built in the Late Gothic style. In the top part on both sides you will find a figure of Cardinal Mendoza, accompanied by St. James, and Hernando de Talavera, the father confessor of Queen Isabel, accompanied by an angel. The inside of the church is a relatively plain design. The splendid main altar reredos in the plateresque style (16th century) comes from a monastery in Palencia.more
This church is one of the most significant in the city as it houses the statue of Málaga's patron saint,... Santa María de la Victoria (Mary the Victorious). The church is built on the site where once King Fernando set up camp as he besieged Málaga, which still belonged to the Nasrid dynasty of Granada. The people believed that the seizure of the city in 1487 was due to the intervention of the Virgin Mary and built a chapel on this spot in her name. Soon after this the Paulaner monks established their first monastery in Spain.
Nothing remains of the former buildings. The present baroque monastery church, a three-aisled construction with side chapels, was built between 1693 and 1700 and paid for by the Count of Buena Vista. In the east you will find the crypt with the burial place of the Counts of Buena Vista and above this the "Camarín de la Virgen", a sumptuous domed building where the figure of the "Virgen de la Victoria" is glorified. The sculpture probably comes from the 17th century and is a copy of a Late Gothic original from the 15th century. Every year the people of Málaga celebrate the Patronage Festival on 8 September with a magnificent procession.more
Pablo Riuz Picasso was born on 25 October 1881 in this 19th-century residence on the Plaza de la Merced,... right in the heart of Málaga. In 1891 the family moved to La Coruña, and later to Barcelona. Finally, in 1904 the young Pablo Picasso moved to France, where he spent his life far removed from the Franco dictatorship. In 1998 the family's apartment on the first floor became the headquarters of Fundación Picasso; now the foundation uses the entire building.
The ground floor is used for temporary exhibitions, while the first floor contains the museum, where Picasso's work - ceramics, artwork and book illustrations - as well as work by his father, art teacher José Ruiz Blasco, and original items used by the family can be seen. Videos provide information about the artist's life. The third floor contains a documentation centre and the library.more
St Jacob’s Church is not only the oldest church of the city, it is also famous because Pablo Picasso... was baptized here on November 10, 1881, not far from his parental home. Before its founding in 1490, the mosque, which had been erected at the same place, was torn down for the most part. The minaret, however, remained, was renovated in mudéjar style and serves as a belltower today. It catches the beholder’s eye because of its red brick construction. All that remained of the mudéjar façade is the central portal. Apart from that, the Iglesia de Santiago has been modified to a large extent in the 18th century adding many baroque elements that suited the taste of the former time. The renovations of the façade, which were completed in 2009, revealed a baroque painting that had been painted over.more
The botanic-historical garden at the northern edge of Málaga is among the most beautiful parks in entire... Spain. Not for nothing was it declared a cultural monument. Laid by the earls Loring, it was extended by the Echevarría-Echevarrieta family later. In the mild climate of the Costa del Sol, tropical and subtropical species grow up to become giant trees, which only thrive in greenhouses elsewhere in Europe. Of course, the abundance of water of the valley adjacent to the garden adds to this lushness. More than 800 exotic plant species from all continents can be admired in the Jardín La Concepción, among them about 100 different palm trees alone. Winding paths lead through the romantic facility to the Museo Longriano, a small building imitating antique temples, which exhibits archeological finds.more
Called Calle Larios for short by the locals, this is one of Málaga's main shopping streets. With its... many historical buildings from the 19th century, it is also architecturally interesting.
It is named after Marquis Manuel Domingo Larios y Larios, who had become rich as a businessman and financed the building of the street to a large degree. At the bottom end of the street at the crossroads with Alameda Principal there is a statue in his honour. At the top end, Calle Larios runs into the Plaza de la Constitución (constitution square), which used to be the city's main square. Five metal plates inserted into the street, depicting the front pages of newspapers, remind passers-by of the passing of the Spanish constitution in 1978. Branching off from it is the Pasaje de Chinitas leading to what used to be the small shopkeepers' and tradesmens' quarter. With its narrow, winding alleys and its houses, it is still a quaint part of town.more
Benalmádena is around 20 km (12.5 miles) west of Málaga. It is divided into three areas: right on the... coast is the tourist area known as Benalmádena-Costa, about 4 km (2.5 miles) inland and high above the coast is the old town of Benalmádena-Pueblo and, between the two, a new residential estate has grown up over the last decades.
This old town has preserved the charm of an Andalusian village, with its whitewashed houses, narrow streets and people with all the time in the world. Sun and siesta determine the rhythm of everyday life. In the afternoon everyone disappears inside where there is shade. The contrast between the village and the bustling coastal resort can be wonderfully observed from the square in front of the neat little church - the bustle of the beach down below and up above the leisurely pace of village life. The main square in the village is the Plaza España with a lulling little fountain and a few cafés where one quickly forgets time.more
The folklore museum is housed in a historical inn dating from the 17th century. In a total of 19 halls,... it shows various aspects of rural and urban life in Málaga in the 18th and 19th century.
Among other things the museum has working replicas of an oil mill, a winery and a blacksmith's shop. Visitors discover what machinery was used in the old days in farming and fishing and what the inside of a kitchen looked like back then. The museuam also contains ceramic vessels and festival costumes, as well as the once very popular "barros malagueños", small, artistically painted clay figures based on folklore themes such as flamenco dancers and bullfighters. The rooms on the upper floor show the life and world of a middle-class family. There is also a collection of saints' figures and cribs.more
It took a long time before it was possible to have a large museum dedicated to the world-famous painter... Pablo Ruiz Picasso in his home city, but in the year 2003 it became reality. A permanent exhibition housed in the former palace of the counts of Buenavista from the 16th century shows over 200 works covering all the styles and techniques used by the maestro. They show the artist's development from his beginnings until 1972 shortly before his death.
Most of the exhibits come from the private collection of Christine and Bernard Picasso, the artist's daughter-in-law and nephew, which they donated to the "Fundación Museo Picasso" foundation, other works are on permanent loan. The museum organises temporary exhibitions, whose themes usually have a connection to Picasso. Some valuable archaeological finds from ancient times were made while the palace was being converted into a museum. Some of these treasures are also on display.more
The Contemporary Art Centre, opened in 2003 in a former market hall in Málaga, established a forum where... people can debate the different movements in modern art. The CAC is based on the concept of the German "Kunsthaus" and also offers seminar and conference facilities.
Around 400 exhibits are permanently on display in an exhibition area totalling 2,400 m2 (23,600 sq ft). Most of them are on permanent loan from private collectors. Málaga city council also tries to buy new items to add to its own collection. However, this is not a very frequent occurrence, in view of the shortage of cash in the town coffers. The permanent collection covers the range from the 19th century Impressionists to modern art, the focus being on the North American artists in the 1960s (Roy Lichtenstein for example) and on Spanish artists in the 1980s. Temporary exhibitions on different topics round off what is a very interesting museum.more
Santa María de la Encarnación cathedral, which is consecrated to the Virgin Mary, dominates the skyline... of the historical Old Town. Its construction was often interrupted for long periods. For example, work on the renaissance building was started in 1527 but had to be stopped in 1588 due to financial difficulties and was not recommenced until the 18th century. On the exterior building you will see that one of the two towers of the planned baroque double-tower facade has not been built. Because of this locals call the cathedral "la manquita", "The One-Armed".
Inside, the size of the three-aisled hall church is very impressive, it is about 100 m (330 ft) long and 40 m (130 ft) high. The choir stalls are a masterpiece created by Granadian sculptor Pedro de Mena. Of the side chapels, Capilla de la Virgen de los Reyes is worthy of mention; it contains a madonna figure which is said to have been donated by the Catholic queen. The Late Gothic reredos in Capilla de Santa Bárbara was previously installed in the main mosque, which was consecrated as a cathedral in 1487 after the city was recaptured and was used as such for many years. The diocesan museum is located in the former chapter house.more
The Roman theatre is right in the heart of Málaga at the foot of the hill "Cerro de la Alcazaba". It... was discovered by chance during construction work in 1951. The excavation work has already uncovered quite a lot, but is still going on.
The Romans erected the theatre at the foot of the hill to take advantage of the natural terrain. They located the stage at the bottom and then the rows of seats in ascending order on the hillside. The theatre was built during the reign of Emperor Augustus (23 BC-14 AD). It was medium sized, the area for the audience had a radius of 31 m (102 ft), the overall height was 16 m (52 ft). Research to date shows that the theatre was used up until the 3rd century. Subsequently the theatre fell into decay and was eventually used by the Arabs as a quarry to obtain building material, such as column shafts and capitals, to build Alcazaba.more
Covered by pine trees, the mountain range Montes de Málaga rises directly to the east of the city. Since... wildcats, chameleons, king owls and various types of eagles still live in this forest, the area is protected as a nature park. The aleppo pine was brought here as late as the first half of the 20th century, when abandoned vineyards were afforested with these pines to stop soil erosion. Formerly, the slopes were covered by Mediterranean maquis shrubland, whose spread is now planned to be intensified again. At the weekend the inhabitants of Málaga like to come here for a picnic or a hike. A good starting point for a 5 km (mi.) circular hiking route is the Lagar de Torrijo, a former wine grower’s home with a winery from 1843, which houses a small ethnographical museum.more
The Alhambra is the most frequently visited landmark in all of Spain. In 1984, the UNESCO declared the... construction a World Heritage cultural site. During the times of the Islamic Nasrid dynasty from the 13th to the 15th century, it served as the rulers’ domicile. Very little is left of the former Medina (palace city). The highlight of the Alhambra are the Nasrid kings’ palaces. They were created in the 14th century and are an impressive demonstration of Islamic architecture. Though rather bland from the outside, visitors are met with the intricate splendor of the ornamentation on the inside. The Generalife was the summer residence. Artfully designed gardens and fountains surround the palace. The oldest part of the facility is the massive fortress (Alcazaba), which has been standing here even since before the time of the Nasrids. Mohammed ibn Ahmar, founder of the Nasrid empire, had the fortress re-erected and expanded. After the Christian Conquest, Emperor Karl V commissioned the Palacio de Carlos in the 16th century. The palace, built in Renaissance style, stands directly adjacent to the palaces of the Nasrids.more
This dripstone cave was discovered in 1959 by adolescents from neighboring Maro, while they were out... hunting for field mice. Visitors can discover the cave themselves via a 1.5 km (0.9 mile) path. The bizarre stalactite and stalagmite formations are impressive. The largest accessible hall is the Sala del Cataclismo (Hall of Cataclysm). 800,000 years ago, a heavy stalactite came loose from the ceiling during an earthquake and shattered. In the hall, a dripstone column stands 32 m (105 feet) tall. It is believed to be the highest in the world. Using skeletal and tool finds as well as cave paintings, researchers determined that the first humans already moved into the cave 25,000 years ago. It seems to have been inhabited continuously until 500 BC. A center for interpretation shows and explains the significant findings.more
The Puerto José Banús – Puerto Banús for short – is, without a doubt, the most luxurious marina... in Spain. Those who come here want to see and be seen. Not only the gigantic, pompous yachts make visitors drop their jaws in astonishment. Parked alongside them are luxury cars, which cost as much as a condominium. The harbor is a meeting place for celebrities from the film and music business. The high nobility also feels comfortable here. The boutiques, restaurants, cafés and bars can easily keep pace. The selection caters to the well-to-do clientele. Puerto Banús is visited by millions of curious onlookers every year, who want to soak up the luxurious ambiance just once.more