Malaga is a port city on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol. The old center of Malaga can be reached via the Puerto de Malaga, which provides beautiful views of the Spanish coastline.
While Malaga has three main attractions,the Gibralfaro Castle, the Alcazaba and the Malaga Cathedral, it is also the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.
Note: If you are looking for some inexpensive, delicious vegan and vegetarian entrees in Malaga, head to Cañadú, located on Plaza de la Merced.
Pablo Picasso was born in Plaza de la Merced. The Museo Picasso Malaga is located on Calle San Agustin, 200 meters from the plaza. Though Picasso moved out of Malaga at the age of ten, he went to nursery school here and was baptized at the Church of Santiago.
Alcazaba of Malaga
One of Spain’s best-preserved citadels, the Alcazaba of Malaga was built by the Hammudid dynasty during the 11th century. According to historians, the Alcazaba is an iconic symbol of the military architecture during the Taifa period in Malaga. With its double walls and dense fortifications, the Alcazaba’s only parallel can be found in the Castle of Krak des Chevaliers in Syria.
The Alcazaba was quite advanced in its day. Each house had its own latrine and was connected to an extensive sewage system, proof of the architectural superiority of the Arab builders.
There are also the remains of a Roman theater lying adjacent to the entrance of the Alcazaba. (Some material was taken from the Roman theatre during the construction of the Alcazaba.)
P.S. I suppose since cats were sacred to the Romans and much loved from the ancient Islamic period, our feline explorer feels right at home here… 🙂
Castillo de Gibralfaro
While you are walking past the Alcazaba and Roman ruins, look up into the horizon. Against the dense growth of pine and eucalyptus trees, you will see the magnificent Castillo de Gibralfaro sitting atop a hill.
This 10th century fortification is a prominent landmark of Malaga, and is featured on Malaga’s seal and flag. It is named after its highest lighthouse, Jabal-Faruk or “Light Mountain”.
First occupied by the Phoenicians and Romans, it was transformed into a fortress by King Yusuf I of the Nasrid dynasty. At the time, Castillo de Gibralfaro was considered the most impregnable fortress on the Iberian peninsula. Moorish rule in Malaga came to an end after the Reconquista period, and King Ferdinand II of Aragon made the castle his temporary residence.
Note: The best views are at night when Castillo de Gibralfaro is gorgeously lit up.
Cathedral of Malaga
The facade of the Cathedral of Malaga is an impressive display of Baroque architecture (interior is Renaissance). With its arches and marble columns, carved stone medallions and patron saints, the cathedral is striking to the eye.
Constructed between 1528 and 1782 near the site of a former mosque, the Cathedral of Malaga donated most of its funds toward the American Independence. Owing to that, only one of the twin bell towers planned could be completed. As a result, the Cathedral of Malaga is also called La Manquita or “One-Armed Woman”.
The north tower is 84 meters high, making the Cathedral of Malaga the second tallest cathedral in the whole of Andalusia. (The highest is the Giralda bell tower in Seville, Spain.)
Popular Day Trips from Malaga