The city of Málaga, nowadays a famous tourist holiday destination, has a rich and vibrant past. Before you head off to your summer holiday in the sun, why not get to grips with a little of the history in the area? |
It is fascinating to think that the city itself was once surrounded by defensive walls, and that the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Spanish all considered this city strategically important, in turn leaving evidence of their time spent here.
Here is our run down of the top historical sites to see in the city.
Phoenician City Walls
The Phoenicians founded Málaga in 800 B.C. in true Phoenician style, at the mouth of a river, which in this case was the Guadalhorce River. Málaga met all of the requirements the people deemed necessary for an economically strong city. It had fertile land, plenty of wood for fuel, and excellent routes inland for trade. These progressive people founded several industries in the area, including agriculture, wine, jewellery and ceramics. During this time they built walls around Málaga, which were to be the foundations for the defensive fortifications for all of the civilisations that followed.
El Teatro Romano
This is the oldest monument in Málaga and, located in the centre of the old town, it is one of the few ruins that remain here - and indeed in Andalucía - after the majority were destroyed during various periods of civil unrest.
The informative visitors’ centre on site has plenty of information about the monument’s history and excavation. Believed to have been built in the first century B.C., the theatre was an important venue in the city until 3 A.D. It wasn’t until the Moors settled in the city between 756 and 780 A.D. that the theatre found a use once more, but this time as a quarry. Not just any quarry, however, as the stone quarried here was used to build the Alcazaba fortress.
After the theatre had served its purpose, it was left to the elements and became buried under sand and rubble. That was until 1951, when the building of the Casa Cultura began and the site was uncovered. Excavations continued, and in 2011 the theatre opened again to the public. It is now used during summer for open-air performances. If you are in the area, look out for what’s on!
El Teatro Romano is located on Calle Alcazabilla and entrance is free, unless there is a performance taking place. The Alcazaba
This wonderfully persevered alcazaba, built by the Hammudid dynasty, is a palace-like construction created with some of the Roman materials and features from El Teatro Romano, which is located close by. Standing on an inland hilltop, the Alcazaba is the city’s most important landmark.
The principle architect restorer, Leopoldo Torres Balbás believes that the double walls and huge fortifications at the entrance are signs that the Alcazaba of Málaga stands as a prototype of military architecture.
If you are planning a visit, the palace is open from 9am until 8pm in the summer and 6pm in the winter. The entrance is €2.20 (€0,60 for children), and a combined ticket that includes the Gibralfaro Castle costs €3.50. There is free entry after 2pm on Sundays.
This stunning example of a Renaissance church can be found on Calle Molina Lario. Built between 1528 and 1782 and originally designed by Diego de Siloe, it boasts Renaissance style both inside and out, although because of the time it took to build, there are elements of Baroque and Gothic too. One of the towers remains incomplete and gives the building the impression that it is leaning to one side. Gardens and courtyards surround the cathedral, and inside you really must take a look at the carved choir stalls; the 18th century organs; the sculpture by Pedro de Mena; and fabulous artwork by Alonso Cano.
The cathedral is open from 10am-6pm Mondays to Fridays, 10am-5pm on Saturdays and 2-6pm on Sundays. The entrance is just €5, although it’s free on Sundays!
How to Get There
If your holiday is based in Málaga, you will probably arrive into Málaga Airport. A flight from the UK takes less than three hours and you can fly from several major UK airports, including London Gatwick, London City, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Southampton. flybe, easyJet and even British Airways offer some reasonably priced services from the UK.
Taxis from Málaga Airport can be organised upon arrival, although this option can be quite expensive. Your best option is to pre-book one of the taxis from Málaga Airport so you are guaranteed a fixed price. At Shuttle Direct we offer various types of shared and private transfer services, so you can choose according to your budget, party size and requirements.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable taxis from Malaga airport, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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