In part 1 of these Malaga history articles, I talked about the stunning and powerful cathedral in Malaga that dominates the centre of the city, the ancient Roman theatre that was only discovered in the 1950's and finally the art and archaeology Museo de Malaga. In most cities this would be considered a wealth of history and beauty, easily more than enough! But in Malaga, this is just the beginning, and there are still plenty of significant and incredibly impressive places yet to show you! Andalusia has the 'luck' to have had a very strong and wealthy medieval period, preceded by Arab conquest and proceeded by an even more prosperous 'early modern' period. This has led to cities like Seville, Granada and Malaga being a rich mix of architecture and history with proud cultures colliding and combining in flashes of brilliance and style.
rich mix of architecture and history with proud cultures colliding and combining in flashes of brilliance and style.
Number 1 - Alcazaba
In every Spanish city that was a central Moorish area, you can more than likely find an intimidating Alcazaba, or walled fortification. Those in Granada, Almeria, Badajoz, Merida and more show the scale and breadth of the Moorish/Arab conquests in the 8th and 9th Centuries, and also show the wealth and power of these people. They have had a serious (and positive) effect on the history, shape and beauty of the Spanish cities that they influenced.
The photo above shows you just how integrated the historical elements of Malaga are, with the 2000 year old Roman theatre sitting just in front of the 1200 year old Moorish Alcazaba, just 300 metres away from the medieval Catholic cathedral. The city and the Alcazaba were under siege by Queen Isabelle in 1487 for more than four months, and the Alcazaba proved its strength, design and function during that time.
Number 2 - Castillo de Gibalforo
This 10th Century castle is often seen as connected or part of the Alcazaba complex, but it is an entirely separate and later construction. Built in the 10th Century by Abd-al-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba, it was also enlarged in the 14th Century to the castle you can see today. This castle was a central part of the four month long siege that I mentioned above, as well as being the residence of the victorious Spanish rulers Isabelle and Ferdinand after they won. The best part of the castle (besides the historical significance) is the unbeatable views from this high point. From the castle, you can look over the majority of the city, and see from the mountains in the eastern area, to the port and docks in the southern coast area and over to the historical centre and commercial areas in the western part of the city. There is a viewpoint that can be accessed from the bottom of the mountain via a lot of long slopes and stairs, and you can also get to this viewpoint through the Alcazaba from the city centre.
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