History of Málaga

Timeline of the History of Málaga


It is believed that Málaga was inhabited by prehistoric tribes.


The first known inhabitants of the area were the Turduli, an ancient Celtiberian tribe of Lusitania, akin to the Lusitanians, that occupied the south of modern Portugal, east of the province of Alentejo, along the Guadiana valley, and Extremadura (Spain).

Phoenicians from Tyre arrived on the Andalusian coasts around 800 B.C. and during that era founded Malaka. They were flying from the Assyrian expansion and the progressive desertification of their territories.
At the beginning it was just a trading base around the port. Some time later the Greeks would found neighbouring Mainake, which would be destroyed by the Carthaginians, who in turn suffered from the power of Rome and were overcome by it in the late third century B. C. in the Second Punic War.

Roman Empire

Export activity increased under Roman rule, based mainly on garum (fish sauce or paste), wine and olive oil.
In the year 81 A. D., the city was already a federated municipality of the Roman Rmpire and several important buildings had been constructed, of which the theatre on the slopes of La Alcazaba has been preserved.


After the decline of the Roman Empire, the city passed successively into the hands of the Silingos, Vandals and Visigoths.

Islamic Empire

After the Islamic invasion, Málaga would became part of the Emirate and subsequent Caliphate of Córdoba.

In later ages, the city would fall under the control of the Hammudi Berbers, the Ziríes of Granada, the Almoravids, the Almohads and the Nazarites. Despite these constant changes, the city retained its commercial activity, thanks largely to the protection provided by its strong walls and to the lookout that could be maintained from the Gibralfaro castle.

Christian troops laid siege to the city of Málaga for a century, and it finally surrendered unconditionally in 1487.

Christian Era

After the surrender to the Christian troops, many of its former inhabitants faced slavery or deportation. With its conversion to Christianity, the city began to transform. It extended its limits to outside the walls and many churches and convents were built.
There were some Moorish revolts during the sixteenth century, which ended with their expulsion in 1614.
Epidemics spread through the city during the seventeenth century, as well as pirate and Berber incursions and the attacks of French and British fleets.

Modern Times

During the eighteen century, Málaga entered an era of greater stability and the economy began to flourish, due mainly to agricultural exports. The end of the monopoly on trading with the Indies was a direct factor in the surge of shipping activity.

In the nineteenth century the city not only suffered from the Napoleonic invasion but also from the conflicts between Liberals and Absolutists.

Towards the middle of twentieth century, Málaga experienced a period of industrialization based on the textile and steel industries that placed it in second place in Spain in that category.

However the flourishing industry began to falter after the phylloxera pest destroyed wine production, which had traditionally been one of the pillars of the province’s wealth.

There were more ups and downs, but the economy of Málaga did not definitely take off until the 1960’s, when mass tourism began to arrive to the Costa del Sol, a destination that would ultimately become a global standard.

Costa del Sol / Málaga / History

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