Málaga, Spain

Málaga is a must-visit destination along the Coast of the Sun in southern Andalusia. Founded nearly 3,000 years ago, the city is a pleasing blend of history, waterfront scenery and charm.

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1 Sailing into the Port in Málaga, Spain

Regardless of how you sail into Málaga – whether aboard a scrappy sailboat or a luxury cruise ship – you will be impressed with this charming jewel along the southern coast of Andalusia, Spain. This metro area of about 1.6 million people has attracted residents for nearly 3,000 years. Fans of history will delight in exploring fascinating sites ranging in age from the 1st century BC through the end of the 16th century. Among the highlights are a Roman theatre, medieval fortresses and the Cathedral of Incarnation seen in the background. After disembarking at one of the piers (this is Muelle Dos), use the 276 foot bell tower as your beacon to start your walking tour. At the end of the day, return to enjoy the delightful attractions at the port.

Paseo del Mulle Uno, 29001 Málaga, Spain
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2 Fountain of the Three Graces in Málaga, Spain

Fountain of the Three Graces is the essence of elegance. Along the upper tier are three nymphs carved in marble with a Greco-Roman design. They are allegories for agriculture, fertility and fresh water. Below the cast iron basin are children riding long-necked swans. The ensemble is encircled with dancing jets of water. Fuente de las Tres Gracias is in a traffic roundabout at Plaza del General Torrijos. In the background is the greenery of Pedro Luis Alonso Gardens and the Tower of Tribute (Torre del Homenaje), part of the Alcazaba.

Plaza del Gral. Torrijos, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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3 Pedro Luis Alonso Gardens and Town Hall in Málaga, Spain

Pedro Luis Alonso Gardens is a perfect respite during an active day of sightseeing. The funnel-shaped landscaping contains 70,000 square feet of sculptured bushes, fruit trees and over 75 types of roses. In the center is El Biznaguero statue. It recognizes the tradition of men selling biznagas (a type of white jasmine flower) on the streets. Accenting the ends of the park is a terraced fountain and this reflection pool pointing toward Town Hall. Jardines de Pedro Luis Alonso was created by gardener Guerrero Stachan shortly after WWII and named after the first postwar mayor of Málaga.

Calle Guillen Sotelo, 31, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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4 Front Entrance of Town Hall of Málaga in Málaga, Spain

Let your eyes travel up the main Neo-Baroque façade of the Town Hall of Málaga. Above the balcony supported by Ionic columns is statuary by Francisco Palma García. The woman in the middle of the pediment represents the city. She is flanked by allegories connoting architecture, fishing and commerce. The primary architect of Casa Consistorial was Fernando Guerrero Strachan. He designed over 70 public buildings in Málaga during the early 20th century. It is surprising he also had time to be mayor from 1928 through 1930.

Av. de Cervantes, 4, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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5 Grand Staircase of Town Hall of Málaga in Málaga, Spain

It requires special permission to step inside the Town Hall of Málaga. If approved, you will be impressed. The grand staircase has stained glass windows worthy of a cathedral. Along the ceiling are corbels of Atlas. Two rooms worth visiting are Plenary Hall (assembly room) and the Hall of Mirrors. Both are lavishly decorated with paintings of historic events. Ayuntamiento de Málaga houses the mayor and the City Council of Málaga.

Av. de Cervantes, 4, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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6 Bank of Spain Building in Málaga, Spain

As the name suggests, Banco de España is Spain’s central bank. The institution was founded in Madrid in 1782. Among its responsibilities are managing Spain’s monetary policy, reserves and credit institutions while working with the other 18 members of the Eurosystem. This local Bank of Spain office on Avenue de Cervantes next to Town Hall was constructed in 1936. The Neoclassical design is credited to architect José Yárnoz.

Av. de Cervantes, 3, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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7 University of Málaga Rector’s Office in Málaga, Spain

The University of Málaga was founded in 1972. Despite its young age by European standards, it has grown to over 36,000 students in the bachelor, masters and doctorate programs. In 2002, UMA purchased this brick, Neo-Mudéjar building on Avenue de Cervantes and converted it into the rector’s office. Originally, this was the Post Office and Telegraph House (Casa de Correos y Telégrafos) from 1923 when it was built until 1986. Interestingly, beneath the structure are the remains of a city wall built by the Phoenicians in the 4th and 3rd century BC.

Av. de Cervantes, 2, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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8 Málaga Museum in Málaga, Spain

Palacio de la Aduana is located along Paseo del Parque overlooking the port. Construction of the former Customs Palace began in 1791. The project was completed in 1829. The Neoclassical building later became the Royal Tobacco Factory. In 2016, the city repurposed the historic structure into Museo de Málaga. This was the consolidation of two existing museums. The collection from the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts has over 2,000 works. More fascinating are the 15,000 artifacts from the Provincial Archeological Museum.

Plaza de la Aduana, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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9 Pedro de Mena Sculpture in Málaga, Spain

Pedro de Mena was a famous 17th century sculptor of religious art. His work is found inside churches across Spain including the Cathedral of Málaga. For nearly three decades, his studio and residence were located at Calle Afligidos. The building is now the Revello de Toro Museum. This bronze monument to Pedro de Mena greets you at the doorway. Among the museum’s collection are over 140 paintings and drawings of contemporary artist Félix Revello de Toro. This accomplished native son was born in Málaga in 1926.

Calle Afligidos, 5, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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10 Convent and Church of San Agustín in Málaga, Spain

In the 16th century, friars from the Order of Saint Augustine established the Convent and Church of San Agustín. They were seized by the state during the Ecclesiastical Confiscation of Mendizábal (1835 to 1837) when all monasteries were abolished and their property auctioned. After the expulsion, the City of Málaga used San Agustín for various administrative functions. In 1918, the buildings were given back to the Augustinians. The old convent became a school until 1972 when it was acquired by the University of Málaga. The church continues to provide Catholic services.

San Agustín Street, 7, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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11 Zea-Salvatierra Palace in Málaga, Spain

In the late 17th century, Maria Salvatierra, the widow of Captain Blas de Zea Merino, commissioned this mansion with a grand Baroque entrance. Subsequently, Zea-Salvatierra Palace housed Town Hall and the main post office. It is now the residence of descendants of José Gálvez Ginachero (1866 – 1952). This celebrated doctor of Málaga dedicated his career to treating people regardless of economic means and soldiers from opposing armies. He was president of the city’s medical association and Málaga’s mayor. He was also the founder of a hospital and a school. He has been venerated by the Catholic church and is being consider for beatification.

Calle Cister, 1, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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12 History of Málaga Cathedral in Málaga, Spain

Málaga Cathedral was created over 280 years with plenty of interruptions. It remains unfinished. Here is a brief chronology. Soon after the Catholic Monarchs conquered Málaga in 1487, the Aljama Mosque was converted into Santa Maria de la Encarnación (Saint Mary of Incarnation). At the end of the 16th century, the monarchs wanted a grand replacement. Work began in 1500. Within a decade, this northern Gothic entrance was complete. It is named Puerta de las Cadenas (Gate of the Chains). On the south side is a similar entrance called Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate). In 1525, the project was deemed too expensive and paused. Then the famous Renaissance architect Diego de Siloé was commissioned to create a new Renaissance design. In 1588, construction was halted again and the cathedral was consecrated. Work resumed during the 17th and 18th century until 1782. Apparently, the money earmarked for construction helped finance the Revolutionary War leading to the United States’ independence. As a result, only one of the two planned bell towers were built. The locals nickname for the Cathedral of Málaga is La Manquita. This means One-armed Lady.

Calle Molina Lario, 9, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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13 Interior of Málaga Cathedral in Málaga, Spain

Málaga Cathedral is a visual masterpiece inside. Stained glass windows encircle a canopy of semi-domes and a grand dome above the main altar. They are supported by massive fluted columns framing paintings of the crucifixion and ascension of Christ. Behind the altar is a marble ciborium. The free-standing structure has four angels standing on the pediment plus a sculpture of Virgin Mary on its dome. Above the nave and side aisles are an additional 12 domes. There are also 13 side chapels … each worthy of your admiration. Anchoring the back is a U-shaped, 17th century wooden choir. There are 42 carvings of saints over the bench seats. Towering above them are some of the 4,000 organ pipes. All of these ornate features are in perfect harmony.

Calle Molina Lario, 9, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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14 Western Entrance of Málaga Cathedral in Málaga, Spain

The most lavish exterior of Málaga Cathedral faces Plaza del Obispo. This western, 18th century entrance with a Baroque style is sometimes called the Tabernacle Façade. The upper balconies were built with blocks of white marble. Below are lilac-colored Solomonic (corkscrew) columns, pediments and arch edging. There is a medallion above each door. The middle relief represents the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. The other two are patron saints of Málaga and part of the city’s coat of arms. St. Ciriaco is on the left and St. Paula is on the right. In the 4th century, these young women were residents of Málaga when they were stoned to death for not renouncing Christianity.

Calle Molina Lario, 9, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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15 Bishop’s Palace in Málaga, Spain

Look for this multi-colored Baroque façade in Plaza Obispo if you want to purchase tour tickets for the Cathedral of Málaga. This magnificent edifice is Palacio Episcopal. Especially impressive is the three-tier marble entrance highlighted with pink Corinthian columns. In the center niche is the Virgin of Anguishes sculpted by Fernando Ortiz. Bishop’s Palace was designed by Antoni Ramos, the main architect for the cathedral. This mid-18th century building houses Ars Málaga. The museum’s collection includes religious pieces from the 15th through the 18th centuries. There are also extensive displays of African art.

Plaza Obispo, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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16 Former Saint Thomas Hospital in Málaga, Spain

Often after defeating the Moors in an Iberian Peninsula city, the Catholic Monarchs would establish a charity hospital. Málaga’s version was founded in 1505 by Don Diego García de Hinestrosa, the governor of the city at the time. The institution was dedicated to Saint Thomas the Apostle. After an earthquake in 1884 crippled the first building, this Gothic-Mudéjar version was created by architect Juan Nepouceno Ávila and finished in 1891. Santo Tomás Hospital closed in 1972. Apparently, the patient wards, operating room and the early 15th century chapel have remained untouched.

Calle Santa Maria, 31, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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17 Shopping Encircling Constitution Square in Málaga, Spain

Although it has had various names, Plaza de la Constitución has been a focal point of Málaga since the late 15th century. Constitution Square is now the epicenter of the city’s shopping district. In the foreground is Calle Larios. This marble, pedestrian-only street specializes in clothing stores. Other intersecting streets for window shopping are Calle Nueva, Calle Compañía and Calle Especería. Feeling lost? Ask the tourist office at Plaza de la Constitución for directions.

Plaza de la Constitución, 1, 29005 Málaga, Spain
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18 House of the Consulate in Málaga, Spain

When Casa del Consulado opened in 1785, the Baroque structure housed the Maritime and Terrestrial Consulate. 100 years later, the House of the Consulate became headquarters for the Economic Society of Friends of the Country. Their continuous mission has been to promote local agriculture, industry and commerce. The top inscription on the marble relief above the door reads, “Deny the Lazy.” This National Historical Monument is the work of famed architect José Martín de Aldehuela. He is best remembered for creating Puente Nuevo in Ronda, Spain. The iconic New Bridge is a 323 foot span over the Guadalevín River.

Plaza de la Constitución, 7, 29008 Málaga, Spain
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19 Carmen Thyssen Museum in Málaga, Spain

Carmen Thyssen Museum is located inside the 16th century Palacio de Villalón. Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga displays over 300 paintings by predominately Andalusian artists from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibits are arranged in four sections: old masters, landscapes, naturalist and modernism. Among the artists represented are Rodin, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Picasso. The museum was named after its primary benefactor, philanthropist and art collector Carmen Cervera. A sister museum is located in Madrid.

Calle Compañía, 10, 29008 Málaga, Spain
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20 Sacred Heart Church in Málaga, Spain

The Church of the Sacred Heart is often missed by tourists but is worth finding at Plaza de San Ignacio de Loyola. The Neogothic façade features an elegant tympanum pointing towards a rose window and crowned with twin bell towers. Iglesia Sagrado Corazon was commissioned by the Jesuits and designed by Fernando Guerrero Strachan. He was a talented and prolific architect in Málaga during the first three decades of the 20th century.

Plaza de San Ignacio, 2-3, 29008 Málaga, Spain
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21 Unicaja Museum of Arts and Popular Customs in Málaga, Spain

Modern times are always shaped by the people and cultures of the past. And Málaga is rich in traditions and stories. If you enjoy ethnology museums, then you will want to experience the Unicaja Museum of Arts and Popular Customs. Since MUACP Málaga was established in 1976, it has been pleasing visitors with 18 exhibition rooms of fascinating displays inside of the former Mesón de la Victoria, built in 1632.

Plaza Enrique García-Herrera, 1, 29005 Málaga, Spain
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22 Doger Street Art in Málaga, Spain

Málaga has many talented street artists. Among the best is Doger. Born in Zaragoza, Spain, Jonathan Morillas began spray painting graffiti in 1995. His technique has evolved into an outdoor portfolio of predominately female portraits. His style is realistic, graceful and exquisite. Doger is quoted as saying of his work, “A multitude of wonderful colors that cascade while expressing with precision and elegance.”

Plaza Enrique García-Herrera, 29005 Málaga, Spain
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23 Bridge and Church of Santo Domingo in Málaga, Spain

Guadalmedina means River of the City. It flows 29 miles from the Sierra de Camarolos mountains and divides Málaga before emptying into the sea. This footbridge over the river is the Bridge of Santo Domingo. It is also called the Bridge of the Germans (Puente de los Alemanes). It was gifted by Germany in appreciation for the Málaga people who helped rescue sailors from the sinking frigate SMS Gneisenau in 1900. In the background, on the east bank of the river in the El Perchel neighborhood, is the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán. This religious complex included a convent when built during the 15th century. The namesake is Saint Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order.

Calle Cerrojo, 1, 29007 Málaga, Spain
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24 Cervantes Theatre in Málaga, Spain

A theater has defined the northeast corner of Plaza de Jerónimo Cuervo since 1862. After a devastating fire, Teatro Cervantes de Málaga was created by architect Jerónimo Cuervo and opened in 1870. Over a century later, the historic performing arts center was acquired by the city, totally refurbished and reopened in 1987. Cervantes Theatre stages diverse programs including symphonic concerts, operas, ballets, dramas and comedies.

Calle Ramos Marín, 3, 29012 Málaga, Spain
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25 Socializing at Plaza de la Merced in Málaga, Spain

Plaza de la Merced has had several names since the start of the Roman occupation in the 3rd century BC. The tree-lined square was given its current name when the Mercedarian friars built the former Church and Convent of Our Lady of Mercy here in the early 16th century. Plaza de la Merced is a delightful focal point for locals. During warm weather, tourists enjoy dining at the outdoor cafes and restaurants.

Plaza de la Merced, 25, 29012 Málaga, Spain
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26 Picasso Statue at Plaza de la Merced in Málaga, Spain

Have a seat on a marble bench next to Pablo Ruiz Picasso. The famous painter and innovator of the Cubist movement was born in 1881 a few steps away in Casa Natal at Plaza de la Merced, 15. His boyhood home is a museum containing furnishing and personal effects of the Picasso family. Museo Casa Natal de Picasso also exhibits some of his and his father’s art plus work by over 200 other artists. This bronze sculpture of Picasso was created by Francisco López Hernández in 2008. You will also want to visit the larger Picasso Museum (Museo Picasso Málaga) located at Calle San Agustín, 8.

Plaza de la Merced, 15, 29012 Málaga, Spain
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27 Monument to Torrijos at Plaza de la Merced in Málaga, Spain

Since 1842, this obelisk has stood in the middle of Plaza de la Merced. The Monument to Torrijos is a tribute to General José María Torrijos. While leading a resistance against the tyranny of Ferdinand VII, he and his followers were ambushed by the trickery of Málaga’s governor in December of 1831. General Torrijos plus other members of The Liberals were captured and then executed by firing squad without trial on San Andres Beach. The bodies of 48 men are buried below the monument. Their names are listed on the brass plaques.

Plaza de la Merced, 25, 29012 Málaga, Spain
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28 Roman History in Málaga, Spain

You are walking on Calle Alcazabilla. Although only 800 feet long, this pedestrian-only street contains the most important archeological site in Málaga: the Roman Theatre. The Romans ended the Carthaginian occupation in 218 BC and renamed the city Malaca. They introduced the Latin language, built infrastructure and revitalized the port. During the 1st century AD, residents were first granted rights as Roman citizens. Then Malaca became a Roman municipality and allowed to self-govern according to statues outlined in Lex Malacitana. Roman influence began fading as the Western Roman Empire collapsed during the late 5th century. In 552 AD, the city fell to the Byzantines, an extension of the Eastern Roman Empire. Their reign was short lived. The era ended in 615 at the hands of the Visigoths. Imagine this 800 plus years of history as you explore this marble-tiled street. You can also access the Alcazaba from Calle Alcazabilla.

Calle Alcazabilla, 10, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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29 Roman Theatre in Málaga, Spain

The Roman Theatre of Malaga was commissioned while Augustus was Emperor of the Roman Empire (27 BC until 14 AD). Archeologists believe it hosted plays, orations, concerts and perhaps gladiatorial events through the 3rd century when it was abandoned. The semi-circular design measures 105 feet wide and 52.5 feet high with 13 rows of stone benches. During the mid-8th century, the Moors ravished sections of the theater to build the Alcazaba seen in the background. The Roman ruins were then buried until discovered in 1951 during the construction of a new building. Excavation and restoration of El Teatro Romano lasted until 2011 when the site was opened. Adjacent is an interpretation center with information and artifacts. The people in the foreground were rehearsing for a choir performance.

Teatro Romano, Calle Alcazabilla, 6, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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30 Entrance to Alcazaba in Málaga, Spain

Dominating Gibralfaro Hill overlooking the historic core of Málaga is the Alcazaba, an Arabic word for citadel. The Moorish fortress was initially constructed during the mid-11th century. It evolved into a massive, wedge-shaped complex of defenses protecting three palaces (Fountains, Naranjos and Albam) plus residential areas and barracks. Alcazaba was the critical stronghold of the Moors until their defeat in 1487. This main entrance to Alcazaba is at the intersection of Calle Alcazabilla and Plaza de la Aduana. The marble column was originally part of the Roman Theatre. The first two of eight portals you will counter are Puerta de la Bóveda (Gate of the Vault) and Puerta de las Columnas (Gate of the Columns).

Calle Alcazabilla, 2, 29012 Málaga, Spain
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31 Defensive Walls and Towers of Alcazaba in Málaga, Spain

Encircling Alcazaba are .8 miles of curtain walls punctuated by protruding watchtowers. The best way to appreciate their formidable structure is by walking along Paseo de Juan Temboury. This cypress-lined street also provides elevated views of the Port of Málaga. It ends at the beginning of a long, uphill walkway leading to Gibralfaro Castle. As an alternative, you can walk down through the Gardens of the Dark Door. Seen here is Torre del Cristo. After the four-month Siege of Málaga ended in August of 1487, a celebratory mass was conducted inside of Christ’s Tower.

Paseo Don Juan Temboury, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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32 Historical Background of Alcazaba in Málaga, Spain

Moors began a westerly expansion across the southern sections of the Mediterranean Sea during the second half of the 7th century. By 711, the Umayyads claimed most of the Iberian Peninsula. This city was given the name Mālaqah. Control seesawed among Muslim dynasties for over 780 years until the collapse of the Nasrids and their Emirate of Granada in 1492. This event marked the end of the Reconquista and established Christian dominance. A significant timeframe for Málaga was from 1026 until 1279. During this period, rule over the city changed hands several times between isolated Moorish kingdoms (a tafia) and the Almoravids, a powerful Berber Muslim dynasty. In 1026, Yahya I al-Mu’tali of the Hammudid dynasty established the First Taifa of Málaga and declared it his capital. In 1057, Málaga was seized by Badis ibn Habús, the king of the Taifa of Granada. He immediately ordered the construction of a formidable fortress to protect his acquisition. This resulted in the initial construction of the Alcazaba from 1057 through 1063. Each conquering dynasty of Málaga – Almoravids in 1092, Almohads in 1146 and Nasrids in 1279 – reshaped and strengthened the Muslim fortification.

Paseo Don Juan Temboury, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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33 Gibralfaro Castle in Málaga, Spain

The highest point in central Málaga near the port is Jabal-Faruk, Arabic for Lighthouse Mountain. The Phoenicians used this summit as a fortified lookout during the 8th century BC followed by the Romans. What you see now is the medieval Gibralfaro Castle. The fortress hovers over the Alcazaba like a protective parent. The stronghold was initially built in the early 10th century by Abd-al-Rahman III, the 1st Caliph of Cordoba (929 -961). Castillo Gibralfaro was expanded by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. He was a Nasrid ruler from 1333 until 1354. This is also the site of the final Muslim resistance against the Catholic monarchs until hunger forced them to capitulate in 1487. For lots more history, make sure to visit the interpretation center inside the castle. A popular tourist activity is to walk along the crenelated, zigzagging ramparts (left) and admire the elevated view from the bastion called Baker’s Oven (right). The people standing below are at a lookout named Mirador de Gibralfaro.

Camino de Gibralfaro, 11, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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34 Puerta Oscura Gardens Below Alcazaba in Málaga, Spain

A scenic descent from Gibralfaro Hill is through Puerta Oscura Gardens. The translation is Dark Door Gardens. This seems like an odd moniker for such lovely terraced landscaping. The origin is the name of a former gate into the southern side of the Alcazaba. Among the ramps, staircases and a stone esplanade are fountains and pavilions. They are embraced by abundant plants, flower beds and a variety of trees.

Jardines de Puerta Oscura, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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35 Former Hospital Noble in Málaga, Spain

Joseph William Noble (1797 – 1861) was an English physician and Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom. He died from cholera while vacationing in Málaga. On his deathbed, he specified money from his estate be used to build a medical facility near the port. The mission was to treat ailing seamen, visiting foreigners and the poor. Hospital Noble opened in 1870. The adjoining Chapel of the Sacred Descent was finished five years later. The English Gothic structure is now owned by the city and house municipal offices.

Plaza del General Torrijos, 2, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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36 La Malagueta Bullring in Málaga, Spain

La Malagueta has hosted bullfights since 1876, just about the time when the sport’s rules were established in Andalusia. Spanish-style bullfighting is called corrida de toros. Hence, Málaga’s ring is also referred to as Plaza de Toros la Malagueta. The circular stadium is 170 feet in diameter and has a seating capacity for 9,000 spectators. The season is April through September. But you can visit the Antonio Ordóñez Bullfighting Museum during weekdays all year. Although bullfighting has become increasingly controversial and is band in most countries, it remains popular in various regions of Spain.

Paseo Reding, 8, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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37 Contemporary Art Centre of Málaga in Málaga, Spain

The displays at the Contemporary Art Centre of Málaga focuses on works produced during the second half of the 20th century. Represented are Spanish and North American artists plus some from Málaga. Inside the former Málaga Wholesale Market building are more than 25,800 square feet of exhibition space. The collection consists of permanent pieces, those on loan from private collectors and traveling shows. Expect to enjoy an array of paintings, sculptures and photography. CAC Málaga also hosts lectures and workshops. The gallery is located in the avant-garde SOHO art district.

Calle Alemania, 2, 29001 Málaga, Spain
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38 Peace and Liberty Plus Fighter Pilot Murals in Málaga, Spain

Málaga has a disproportionate number of excellent museums … 30 in total. Aficionados of street art will be thrilled to see superb murals gracing the city’s walls, especially in the SOHO area. This urban renewal project is sponsored by MAUS (Málaga Arte Urbano Soho). On the left is a fighter pilot painted by Dean Stockton. The street name of this pop artist from London is D*Face. On the right is Shepard Fairey’s visualization of the song Paz y Libertad (Peace and Liberty) composed by Jose-Luís Orozco. Both Fairey and Orozco live in Los Angeles. These paintings are seven stories high.

Avenida de Manuel Agustín Heredia, 34, 29001 Málaga, Spain
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39 Port of Málaga in Málaga, Spain

The Port of Málaga was established about 3,000 years ago by the Phoenicians. The natural harbor grew in importance with each successive dynasty – Roman, Visigoth, Muslim, Christian, Imperial Spain and into the present. The port has a network of ten docks. They serve a host of maritime traffic, from cruise ships to commercial vessels to pleasure boats. This building was built in 1934 to house the Málaga Port Authority. They currently manage the flow of over 40,000 vessels annually. It is fun to imagine how the port will evolve during the next three millenniums.

Muelle de Cánovas, s/n, 29001 Málaga, Spain
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40 Ferris Wheel at Port in Málaga, Spain

Noria Mirador Princess is Europe’s largest traveling Ferris wheel. From an elevation of 230 feet, it provides a bird’s-eye view of the city, port and the coastline of the Alboran Sea. Your enclosed cabin will rotate three times during your 15 minute adventure. The amusement ride is located at Plaza de la Marina in the heart of the Port of Málaga.

Plaza de la Marina, 5, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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41 El Cenachero Statue at Port in Málaga, Spain

Traditionally, men walked the streets of Málaga selling anchovies, mackerel and sardines from their twin baskets. The Spanish name for the baskets weaved from esparto grass is cenachos. So, a fish vendor was known as a cenachero. They typically wore a sash around their waist. This sculpture by Jaime Fernández Pimentel immortalizes the tradition. The bronze statue has become a symbol of the city since it was erected at Plaza de la Marina in 1968.

Plaza de la Marina, 11, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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42 Maritime Museum and Aquarium at Port in Málaga, Spain

Watch for this glass façade along Muelle Dos at the port (also called the Palm Grove Terminal). Museo Alborania is the Maritime Museum and Classroom of the Sea. The dozen aquariums delight children and adults alike. There are over 1,000 species of marine life, all native to the Alboran Sea. They are displayed in natural settings and many are interactive. There are also exhibits explaining local maritime history. But Museo Alborania is more than a recreation facility. They conduct marine research and conservation, animal rescue and rehabilitation plus sponsor regular classes and workshops.

Palmeral de las Sorpresas, Muelle 2, 29015 Málaga, Spain
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43 Muelle Uno at Port in Málaga, Spain

Muelle Uno (Pier One) at the port is a lively environment filled with outdoor restaurants and 50 shops ranging from boutiques to famous brands. On the other side of the waterfront promenade are sailboats tethered to the quay. They frame great views of historic Málaga. Then you will notice what appears to be a giant Rubik’s Cube. Below this 52.5 foot glass El Cubo is Centre Pompidou Málaga. The art museum opened in 2015 in association with the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The eclectic collection consists of 80 contemporary works. They tend to be in the pop art and abstract genres. Temporary exhibits are also introduced throughout the year.

Centre Pompidou, Paseo del Muelle Uno, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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44 Chapel of the Port in Málaga, Spain

Muelle Uno was built in 2011. Everywhere you look, the 150,000 square feet of recreation space is fresh, inviting and exciting. The lonely exception is the Chapel of the Port. It was built in the early 16th century and moved here in the early 18th century. This is where seamen came to pray before sailing and after safely returning home.

Paseo de la Farola, 10, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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45 La Farola de Málaga at Port in Málaga, Spain

Sea captains have been aided by a lighthouse at the Port of Málaga since 1717. A century later, it was replaced with La Farola de Málaga. This means The Lamp of Málaga. The light suffered from an earthquake in 1884, was heavily damaged during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939) and has been pummeled by countless storms. Each time La Farola was repaired or rebuilt. This beloved, 108 foot icon of the city punctuates Muelle Uno. It is also near Muelle de Levante, the main cruise ship terminal.

Paseo de la Farola, 18, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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46 La Malagueta Beach in Málaga, Spain

Málaga is located along the Alboran Sea, the western waters of the Mediterranean. The shoreline region is called Costa del Sol meaning Coast of the Sun. With nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, it is well named. This geographic position also gives Málaga the warmest winters in Europe. Doesn’t this sound ideal for a day at the beach? The nearest one to city center is Playa de la Malagueta. Adjacent to it is Playa de la Caleta. You will easily find your spot to sit and savor this .75 mile stretch of dark sand. The modest waves are ideal for swimming, kayaking and snorkeling. Defining the skyline are the Montes de Málaga.

Playa la Malagueta, Paseo Marítimo Pablo Ruiz Picasso, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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47 Spanish Galleon at Sunset at Port in Málaga, Spain

No doubt you had a wonderful day exploring Málaga. As the sun begins to set, it is time to return to the main cruise terminal. Nope, wrong ship. This is a replica of the largest warship of the 18th century. The original Santísima Trinidad (Holy Trinity) was the pride of Armada Española (Spanish Navy) when launched in 1769. At her peak, La Real was equipped with 140 guns. She was Spain’s flagship against Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. After being crippled during the Battle of Trafalga, she sunk off the cost of Cādiz in 1805. This replica of the once mighty, four-decker ship is a restaurant and nightclub.

Málaga Cruise Terminal, Paseo de la Farola, 24, 29016 Málaga, Spain
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