EVERYTHING ABOUT MALAGA


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2014 tourist guide

Situated in the of the basin of the same name and surrounded by rich natural areas such as the Montes de Malaga or the estuary of the River Guadalhorce, which provides a home for thousands of migratory birds, the history of malaga starts on the sea, with the first navigators who sailed the Mediterranean from the far East and landed on its coast. Today the city is the second most important destination for cruise liners in Spain whilst its airport receives visitors from all over the world and its comprehensive transport network is used by many

The ancient Malaga, its historic centre, with squares such as that of La Merced - the birthplace of Picasso, the Alcazaba, the Roman Theatre or the churches, blends with a more modern city which is the result of the 60's urban development, with romantic gardens such as those of the Finca de la Concepcion, on the outskirts. Both parts benefit however from the beaches, small coves, traditional fishermen's houses and, naturally, the delicious pescaito (fried fish).

Malaga

MALAGA FIESTAS

The festive calendar begins in Malaga with numerous cultural activities which came under the heading of Winter Fiestas. These include the Carnival and then carry on into March, with the Burial of the Anchovy and bonfires on the Malagueta beach.

EASTER WEEK - During the long awaited Easter Week there are beautiful processions and parades which pass through the monumental centre. The city is at is best to receive the solemn effigies of El Cautivo, the Cristo de la Buena Muerte, accompanied by the Legion which lands in the Port, and Nuestro Padre Jesus "El Rico", an effigy of Christ which according to tradition, grants the right for an inmate to be released from prison every year.

THE FILM FESTIVAL - The Malaga Film Festival in April inaugurates activities in the Cervantes Theatre and is followed by a full calendar of prestigious events throughout the year, such as the City Philharmonic Orchestra season, the Musica del Paraiso Festival, and the Jazz Festival.

FERIA DE MALAGA - The May Crosses, Corpus Christi, and the Night of San Juan are all festivities which mark the transition from Spring to Summer, and above all draw us nearer to the Feria of Malaga, in August which includes a floral tribute to the Patron Saint in the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Victoria. As well as the so-called daytime Feria, which takes place in the old centre, with parades of horses and coaches, there is also a bullfighting season with corridas in La Malagueta and the night-time Feria at the Real Cortijo de Torres.

ART AND CULTURE

Although perhaps one name stands out above all others as Malaga's main cultural attraction - the brilliant painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso, the city also boasts of numerous museums dedicated to a wide range of other themes.

PICASSO - The close relationship between the city of Malaga and Pablo Ruiz Picasso dates back to 1861 , when the painter was born at number 36, Plaza de la Merced, in a house rented by his parents, Jose Ruiz Blanco and Maria Picasso Lopez. Housing the Foundation which bears the name of the painter, the house is also an important Documentation Centre which exhibits some of his works, Baptised in the baroque Parish Church of Santiago, he attended the San Rafael school, but always found time to play in the Plaza next to his house, a place with a long history which was the site of the public market in the 15th century, becoming later, in the 19th century a place of leisure for the bourgeoisie.

The religious theme is best represented in the Cathedral and Religious Art museums, but others include: the Museum of Popular Arts and Costumes, the Municipal Museum, the Centre of Contemparary Art (CAC), the Antonio Ordoñez Bullfighting Museum - in the Plaza de la Malagueta, and the Juan Breva Flamenco Museum.

Cathedral

THE CATHEDRAL - The construction of the Cathedral ofla Encamacion built over the old Main Mosque, took from the 16th ta the 18th centuries and was carried out by prestigious artists such as Diego de Siloe, Enrique Egas or Diego de Vergara. Called la Manquita, because one of the towers has never been completed, it is interesting for its mixture of styles: the facade is late baroque, the ground plan gothic, and the walls renaissonce. Of special interest are the choir stalls, with 42 sculptures by Pedro de Mena and two magnificent organs from the 17th century. as well as a collection of socred art which are displayed in the Cathedral Museum.
Also of considerable interest along our route is the Church of El Sagrario, with its plateresque altarpiece, and red marble pulpit, as well as the Episcopal Palace, which houses the Diocesan Museum.

The world of science can be explored in the Aula del Mar Aquarium Museum, which is the only centre for the protection of endangered marine species in Andalusia, and the Principia Scientific Centre, which includes a Planetarium. Also interesting is the Doll's House Museum, which exhibits an unusual collection of miniatures houses dating from different periods.

GASTRONOMY

On the Malaga seaboard, there is an incredibly varied gastronomy waiting for you to taste.
Little fried fish such as anchovy, red mollet, horse mackerel squid and little squids is the symbol of a simply elaborated delicious cuisine. Bay prawns, baby clams and the crawfishes boiled or fried are especially tasteful Inland, you can find delicious cold meats as chorizo sausages. cured loin of pork and black pudding. Bloating dishes such as al ajillo veal meat, kid's goat fried meat; rabbit caldereta and hare caldereta are worth being tried.

The gazpacho, famous fresh soup of the Andalusian gastronomy, is prepared in many ways: ajoblanco soup, porra antequerana, gazpachuelo soup, toasted gazpacho...
Before and after-lunch Malaga wines are internationally renowned as are the sweet raisins wine, the Moscatel grapes wine and of course Pedro Ximenez wine.

The sweets of Ronda such as the Ronda yemas, the alfajor, the polvorones and the raisins cakes form part of this striking gastronomy. A whole flavours' universe can be tasted in this millenarian land. The fresh fish and shellfish which are landed in the city's port undoubtedly form the basis of the delicious local cuisine which includes popular dishes such as the cazuela de fideos, sardine espetos (skewers), rice a la marinera, orboquerones victorianos (with fresh anchovies), as well as other more traditional specialities such as ajoblanco con uvas, gazpachuelo, sopa malagueña... which can all be washed down with delicious, locally praduced, moscotel wines.

HANDCRAFT

There are still many craftsmen who continue praducing typical Malagan pattery, traditional lanterns, and artistic lamps. Locally produced wraught ironwork pieces are much in demand internationally and many can be found decorating the palaces and residences of rich Arab Sheiks.

Thanks to the tourism arrival the ancient craft traditions are being developed with fresh impetus.
You can find both handicrafts: the ancient pottery tradition and the creative ceramic products. In a traditional way of making earthenware objects the "Malaga earthenware", with popular figures and scenes, is to be mentioned. The forges in Arroyo de la Miel Marbella, Humilladero, Cartama, Estepona or Fuengirola produce extraordinary artistic locksmith works. You can find manually manufactured carpets in Marbella and Estepona. Its raw materials are cotton, wool linen and jute.

In Macharaviaya, the embroidered tablecloths, handkerchiefs and sheet deserve to be pointed out. The best regional costumes and ridding clothes are to be found in Antequera.

GARDENS

The beauty of its parks and gardens, along with the number and variety of walks and leisure areas make Malaga a perfect place to discover on foot The Alameda, the main access to the centre, leads to the Plaza de la Marina, a square with elegant modern buildings and grand fountain. It is situated next to the Malaga Park, which ends in Plaza del General Torrijos.

MALAGA PARK - Its design, typical of Mediterranean gardens, following the initiation of the project by the Marques de Larios, was developed by architects such as Rivera, Guerrero, Strachan, and Crooke, but finally carried out by Rucoba. It is of great botanical value and contains plants species from all the five continents: the Dragon Tree from the Canaries, Bamboos, blue-coloured Argentinean Jacarandas, the Australian Fire Tree, the South African Bird of Paradise, and the original Ficus - which is also to be found in the Picasso Gardens.

THE PROVINCE

The prestige of this area, which spreads across the coastlines of Malaga and Granada provinces, is due to three-hundred days of sunshine a year, and to that line of mountains which, particularly in Malaga, isolates the beaches from the north winds. The strip that enjoys most popular favour stretches from Malaga to Estepona.

MARBELLA is a town with highly agreeable temperature and environmental conditions in both summer and winter. The wild peaks of Sierra Blanca protect it from wind of all kinds, both hot and cold. The town has around twenty beaches, all well looked after and with excellent sand. There are also three yachting harbours: in Puerto Banus, Cabopino and Marbella itself, with a mooring capacity of around two thousand. The beaches and the cosmopolitan ambience make Marbella one of Europe's most elitist social circles. Despite the extensive urban development that has taken place there, the old part of Marbella has maintained the flavour of a traditional Andalusian village, with narrow whitewashed streets and squares with low-rise buildings, such as the Plaza de los Naranjos, with the Town Hall and its pretty Mudejar entrance. Remains of Arab walls can also be seen. The Cristo Hermitage and Encarnación Church date from the sixteenth century.

TORREMOLINOS conserves La Carihuela, an old fishing village which, despite being surrounded by such massive urban development, has succeeded in maintaining its traditional appearance of low houses in line with the seafront that stretches along a lengthybeach with fine, well looked-after sand. The great speciality of this village is to be found in the perfection of its fried fish. Andalusia is a land with a natural mastery of cooking with olive oil, particularly for dishes involving fried food.

ANTEQUERA seemed old even to the Romans, who named it Anticaria, no doubt because of the prehistoric monuments they found. Of these, three major examples have survived to this day. The Menga cave, considered "the most impressive tomb of the whole of prehistory", is a gallery held up by giant pillars measuring 25 metres long and 6 metres wide; one of their stones weighs 320 tons. Less spectacular, though also featuring large stones, is the Viera cave. The Romeral cave represents the conquest of vaulted architecture with less effort, due to the small amount of bonding employed in the walls; the dome system is achieved "by drawing the horizontal courses nearer together". The three monuments can be dated to 2500 BC.

The town centre is a monument in itself, with its walls and an abundance of palaces and churches from all periods, though the most interesting features are found in the Baroque elements, for their decorative development. Romano is an excellent ephebe conserved by the town council, and installed in the eighteenth-century Palacio de Najera.

Malaga

RONDA is splendidly located in the middle of a craggy hill range, not far from the sea. This earthy beauty is increased by the tajo, a gorge 180 metres deep separating two masses of limestone crossed by the Puente Nuevo, an engineering marvel from the end of the eighteenth century. All this has been declared a site of historical-artistic value.

Of Ronda's surviving Arab elements, the most spectacular is the Torre de San Sebastian, a Nasrid minaret from the fourteenth century and relatively well conserved, and the Mondragón courtyard, Renaissance in its appearance but which has also succeeded in maintaining mosaics and Nasrid parts of the buildings from the fourteenth century.

The Casa del Rey Moro or Moorish King's House is, in fact, a Christian building, though it was built on the site of an Arab construction that contains the Mina de Ronda, a military building-from the Nasrid era. The Bullring, the Plaza de Toros, was built in 1785 by the Real Maestranza de Caballería. The 50-metre diameter of the ring, the stone barriers and the sheer history of the ring make it a reverential place for the bullfighting world.

CASARES, which dates to before Roman times, is located on the edge of the Serranía de Ronda. The parish church tower affords a fine view of the nearby hills, full of pine and Spanish fir trees, the Mediterranean and the Campo de Gibraltar. Casares has narrow streets leading up an down the steep slopes, with houses that seem to hang in the air, and it is a model of a village fully integrated into the surrounding landscape. The remains of the Arab castle include the Vera Cruz Hermitage, declared a site of historic-artistic value.

NATURE

Travelling around Malaga without finding real treasures of Nature is impossible. The excellent climate and the passing of time have given way to a diversity of natural spaces for all of us nature-lovers to find our own paradise. Landscapes, lagoons, gorges, parks, forests, valleys ... make up a wide range of beautiful spots worth the status of "Protected Spaces" in the different forms envisaged by the current legislation. Access to the said natural spaces is fairly easy in most cases, which allows travellers to reach every corner that the Province of Malaga is gifted with. Both on foot or by other means of transport, we will enjoy the landscape, and we will be carried away by so many enchanting spots, places, huge woods, forests, paths crossing our valleys and mountains, plains, water... Nature presents us with so many chances to discover the wonders of a province willing to share its core with its inhabitants and visitors!
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