- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Travel to Malaga, Spain
The magnificent city of Malaga is a world apart in itself. The culturally rich coastal city lies in the autonomous community of Andalucia, and was once described by the poet Vicente Aleixandre as ‘a paradise between the sky and the earth’. Malaga is a sunlit paradise with miles and miles of enchanting shoreline, mesmerizing scenery and pristine beaches. The region enjoys a mild climate throughout the year as it is snuggled between the two riverbeds and is surrounded by the mighty mountains. It has numerous parks, interesting landmarks and plenty of places for sightseeing which makes it an ideal place to spend a family vacation.
## Tourist Attractions in Málaga
Alcazaba de Málaga: An Old Moorish Castle
Stronghold of the Moorish kings, this ancient Moorish castle was built in the ninth century (and rebuilt in the 11th century) on the ruins of a Roman bastion. The town's Muslim rulers governed from this citadel for several centuries. Advantageously perched on the Mount of Gibralfaro, the fortified palace was designed with three circuits of defense walls and 110 main towers. Visitors can see some of the remaining towers including the Torre de la Vela (tower), the Arco de Cristo (entrance), and the impressive Torre del Homenaje (tower). Another highlight is the beautiful garden in the castle's courtyards.
From the Plaza de la Marina, the Calle Molina Larios leads into the Old Town, which is dominated by the cathedral. With its twin-towered facade, this grandiose 16th-century building stands on the site of an earlier mosque. Visitors are dazzled by the finely proportioned interior and sense of spaciousness. The cathedral's Capilla del Rosario (the third chapel in the south aisle) is adorned with a painting of the Virgin with Saints by Alonso Cano. In the Capilla de los Reyes (the first choir chapel on the right) and on the left-hand wall are kneeling figures of the Catholic Monarchs by Pedro de Mena. This chapel also contains the statuette of the Virgin, which Ferdinand and Isabella carried with them on their military campaigns. The modern altar in the Capilla Mayor features Passion scenes of 1580. The choir is especially noteworthy with its exquisitely carved 17th-century stalls. The 40 carved wooden statues of saints were the work of Pedro de Mena and José Micael. Tourists may ascend the 86-meter-high North Tower to take in splendid panoramic views.
Castillo de Gibralfaro
Standing proudly on the Mount Gibralfaro hilltop above the Alcazaba, the Castillo de Gibralfaro is another medieval Moorish fortress. Abd-al-Rahman III, the Caliph of Cordoba, built the castle in the 10th century on the site of a Phoenician lighthouse. The name is derived from the word "gebel-faro" (Arabic and Greek words that mean "rock of the lighthouse"). The Sultan of Granada, Yusef the First, enlarged the fortress in the early 14th century, yet the Castillo de Gibralfaro is most famous for its three-month siege by the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella. The image of this building appears on Málaga's flag as well as the flag of the province.
Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Victoria
The Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Victoria is north of the Picasso Museum, reached by way of Calle de la Victoria. This 17th-century Baroque church is one of the most important churches in Málaga. A listed historic monument, the Basilica stands on the site where the Catholic Monarchs pitched a siege of Málaga during the Reconquest. The church contains the Shrine of Our Lady of Victory with a 15th-century figure of the Virgen de la Victoria, Patron Saint of the town. The figure was a gift of Emperor Maximilian I to King Ferdinand. Among the paintings and sculptures decorating the sanctuary, highlights are the two sculptures by Pedro de Mena. Another must-see piece is the Altarpiece of San Francisco de Paula by Luis Ortiz de Vargas. The basilica houses some of its art treasures within an exhibition hall.
Museo de Artes y Costumes Populares (Museum of Arts and Costumes)
This charming museum is found within the Old Town of Málaga, housed in a typical Andalusian building of the 17th century. The building's architecture reveals Moorish elements such as whitewashed walls, Islamic tile work, a central patio, and pleasant gardens. An interesting insight into the local culture, the museum introduces visitors to the region's artisan crafts and folklore. A wide array of exhibitions ranges from antique cooking equipment and fishing gear to handcrafted ceramics and folkloric costumes. Visitors leave with an appreciation of the rich artistic heritage and traditions of Málaga.