The city of Malaga is located in a privileged enclave. The municipality extends over an area of 398.25 square kilometres and its "de facto" urban population reaches the million inhabitants mark.
The main environmental and geographical factors that have intervened in the city's evolution and development have been maritime influences, its location in two river valleys (the Guadalhorce and the Guadalmina), its relief and its climate.
Whilst the Mediterranean Sea bathes the Malaga coastline, the Malaga Mountains close ranks behind to form a barrier of peaks that protects the city from the cold, whilst the regulating effect of the sea ensures the area its characteristic mild temperatures. The hottest months are July and August and the coldest are usually December and February, when the average temperatures vary between a maximum of 22.8ºC and a minimum of 13ºC. Rainfall in Malaga follows the seasons, with the most abundant rains occurring in autumn and winter.
At the mouth of the River Guadalhorce, river sediments have formed the area known as the "Guadalhorce Mudflats". Declared a Protected Natural Space in 1989, they currently occupy an area of 60 hectares. The other river that has played a decisive role in the history of Malaga is the Guadalmedina, which in Arabic means "the river of the city". It is 47 kilometres long and is fed mostly by the waters that run down from the Malaga Mountains.
The Malaga Mountains were declared a National Park in 1989. This gave greater protection to an area of 4,762 hectares, of which 97% is located within the municipality of Malaga. Its relief is steep and rugged, with summits that reach an average altitude of 500 metres. Its tree cover originates from the hydrological-forestry reforestations carried from the end of the 30s and the area contains over 230 different varieties of vegetation and more than 160 species of vertebrates.
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This impressive building, built mostly in the 11th century, was the palace-fortress of the city's governing Muslims. It was built on the summit of a hill, adapted to the relief. It is formed by two walled areas, the lower, which is a huge space that follows the topography of the hill and surrounds the upper part completely. This latter, within which the palace stands, is also adapted to the lines of the hill and has strong defensive elements at each end. It has a lift that runs from calle Guillén Sotelo, behind the Town Hall.
The name of this castle comes from the Arab word Yabal (Hill) and another derived from the Greek Faruh (Lighthouse), which suggests the possible use of the hill during the Phoenician-Punic period as a coast lookout point. The name Gibralfaro is frequently found in Arab sources linked to a Muslim hermitage or oratory built on the summit and with a large cemetery extended over the slopes. The references to the fortifications as such are later, as these were built in times of Yusuf I (14th century).
Catedral de la Encarnacion
The Cathedral, or Catedral de la Encarnación, was erected on the site where the city's main mosque had stood during the eight centuries of Muslim domination. Building on the cathedral began in the first half of the 16th century (1528) and continued throughout the 17th and 18th century, although it is still unfinished as it is missing the top part of the main façade and the south tower is incomplete.
Pedro Luis Alonso Gardens
Malaga's purest example of formal, Mediterranean gardens, the Pedro Luís Alonso Gardens were designed by the architect Guerrero Strachan, whose hand is behind most of the recreations of historical gardens to be found in the city Named after the first post-war Mayor, it was laid out in 1945 along Latin lines - it contains characteristics of both Hispanic-Muslim and French style gardens: cypress hedges as architectural cover around the perimeter, beds with low-lying bushes to provide colour and symmetry, orange trees to provide shade, colour and aroma.
Malaga Contemporary Art Centre
Malaga Town Hall created the Malaga Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) to disseminate and encourage reflection on modern art. The Centre is located in the heart of the city, in the former Wholesalers Market, which was designed in 1939 by the architect Luis Gutiérrez Soto, one of the maximum exponents of Spanish rationalism.