Malaga aerial view

30 Malaga facts that surely you did not know

There are many things to see in Malaga, so tourism in Malaga is much more than enjoying its fabulous coastline and beautiful landscapes. Malaga is a city full of traditions and facts that have shaped both its history and its people, so despite having a millenarian and urban nature still continues to protect and promote the traditions and history of its ancestors to this day. The Mediterranean culture persists in its customs.

Malaga is the city of fashion and it must be said that there is no lack of reasons for this. After all it is rich in natural and cultural heritage and it also has very unique customs and a past full of surprising stories. That is why we present you 30 interesting facts about Malaga that we hope will help you understand a bit better a Malaga that waits for you with open arms.

 

Malaga facts – Historical and architectural

 

La ‘Manquita’

Malaga facts - La ‘Manquita Malaga cathedral

Malaga’s Cathedral is one of those essential places to visit in a tour through the city of Malaga. It is called Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica de la Encarnación but it is popularly known as “La Manquita”. Its construction began in 1528 and its works lasted 250 years. However, the Cathedral remained unfinished, the most significant being the lack of the South Tower.

Looking at the Malaga’s Cathedral facades, which began with Gothic style and ended mixing Renaissance and Baroque styles, we can see the complex construction process that it had until the end of the 18th century.

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El Puente de los Alemanes (The Bridge of the Germans)

The history goes back to December 1900 when a storm wrecked the German frigate Gneisenau. Many Malaga citizens tried to save the sailors, some of the rescuers lost their lives. This action earned Malaga the title of “Muy Hospitalaria” (Very Welcoming) that holds today.

Years later, in 1907, the river Guadalmedina overflowed, destroying the existing bridges. The German people, upon hearing about this, decided to return the favor and began collecting for the construction of the “Puente de los Alemanes” (Bridge of the Germans).

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The British clocks of the Malaga Subway

Malaga Subway clocks do not display 60 seconds, but 59. They have a British style seconds’ hand by which the hand comes to the end and rather than continuing, pauses and then it’s the minute hand that marks this second. This system is used in British stations to indicate exactly the departure of the trains.

El cenachero

Malaga facts - El cenachero

The cenachero is one of the city’s symbols. Makes reference to a trade that has already disappeared from Malaga, in which the fishermen sold their fresh fish through the city with a basket of esparto hung from their shoulders.

Lorca and the Pasaje de Chinitas

No lover of good literature should ignore the visit to one of the most cherished urban spaces by Malaga citizens. Here stood the famous Café de Chinitas, a sort of varieties theater – closed on several occasions due to public scandal – that was brilliantly immortalized by the great Lorca in his well-known verses:

“At Café de Chinitas/Paquiro told his brother:/I’m braver than you, more torero and more Gypsy”…

Café de Chinitas is currently in Madrid. Located in Calle Torija, 7; but is still owned by the Verdasco family.

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Malaga and its Roman theater at the foot of the Alcazaba (Citadel)

Malaga facts - roman theatre

Also in this, Malaga is unique in the world and the capital is so rich in historical remains that the three most important cultures – Jewish, Arabic and Roman – have left in it a phenomenal imprint.

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Malaga Coat of arms

The Malaga coat of arms was awarded by the Catholic Kings after the conquest, on August 30, 1494. In it are recorded the initials: TM, which means “Tanto Monta” abbreviation of “Tanto monta cortar como desatar” (It doesn’t matter if you cut it or untie it) famous phrase used by King Fernando The Catholic.

Also, in the upper part, the Saints and Martyrs from Malaga, Ciriaco and Paula, in prayer.

Malaga releases a prisoner every year by Easter

Malaga facts - Jesús El Rico

Did you know that was after a great epidemic in the city of Malaga and that did not afflict the prison or its prisoners. Seeing that the procession of the image of Jesus El Rico was not taking place, they asked to the prison warden to let them out but he did not accept. They mutinied and took the image in procession and subsequently all returned to the prison but one. This prisoner took the head of San Bautista Degollado, that was one of the Jesuit’s relics, to the prison on the day following the procession to ask him to heal a companion of his that was sick. Carlos III, informed of this generous attitude of the prisoner, issued a Royal Privilege, during the procession of “El Rico” freedom was granted to a prisoner.

English Cemetery

Malaga facts - English cemetery

Malaga’s English Cemetery, the oldest Protestant cemetery in Spain and, without a doubt, the most important. It is a deeply historical place that is located just in the heart of the city and that attracts every day to hundreds of restless tourists.

The Anglican Cemetery or San Jorge Cemetery, was built in the 19th century in the Cañada de los Ingleses. Part of its interest lies in that it is, no more and no less, the first Protestant Cemetery in Spain built since 1821.

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La “Desbandá” (The Scattering)

During the Spanish Civil War, after the entry of Franco’s troops in the city, thousands of Malaga citizens fled towards Almeria. This was known as “the massacre of the road of Almeria“, one of the most egregious acts of the civil war where thousands of people died.

‘Earth Wide Walk’

The first Spanish to take a tour around the globe on foot was the Malaga citizen Nacho Dean Mouliaá. He started his journey on March 21, 2013 and returned three years later. He was alone on his trip, accompanied only by a cart with his stuff, he had few resources, but he didn’t need much, all he took was his curiosity, his desire to know the world and his concern for the environment.

Malaga’s Lighthouse

Malaga facts - Malaga's Lighthouse

Malaga’s Lighthouse, together with Mar’s lighthouse in Tenerife, we can say that they transgress the typical lighthouse name that is given in all of Spain to these maritime signaling systems. They are the only lighthouses of the female gender. Built by the engineer Joaquín María Pery y Guzmán. It is of one of the two lighthouses with a female name that exist in Spain.

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Osborne Bulls

The Osborne Bulls are very popular and well known to all. These structures have become a Pop-Art benchmark, and the curious thing about this is that in Andalusia they were declared Bien de Interés Cultural (Culturally Interesting). In all the Spanish territory, you will see 88 of these structures and Malaga has three: in Vélez Málaga, Casabermeja and Fuengirola.

 

Malaga facts – Gastronomic and cultural

El Pimpi

Malaga facts - El Pimpi

El Pimpi, one of the most unique places in Malaga. In its origins was probably the first dancing bar of Costa del Sol, also a convent. Today is a magnificent restaurant, where you can enjoy local gastronomy and wines. You can also meet part of the history of the place and of beautiful Malaga.

“Pimpi” refers to a very popular character for tourism in Malaga, which helped the crews and passengers of various vessels arriving to the port.

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Ask for a coffee in Malaga

It is usual that when a Malaga citizen leaves its province suffers since no one can understand it. It is typical to ask for a Cloud, shadow, half, short, semi-short, long, semi-long, it’s nothing more than the proportion of coffee or milk that you put in your cup. Today, asking for a coffee is a sign of Malaga identity.

Why Malaga citizens are called anchovies

Malaga facts - boquerones - anchovies

This fact is a classic but we don’t want to leave it out for that reason. Not everybody knows that this nickname is because the ‘pescaíto frito’ (fried fish) par excellence in Malaga is the anchovy. A culinary specialty wherever you go within the Malaga territory.

Michelin Stars

In Malaga, there are 5 Michelin stars distributed by 4 restaurants. Dani García has 2 stars in his restaurant in the hotel Puente Romano in Marbella. Diego del Rio with “El Lago”. Jose Carlos García in his restaurant in the capital’s Pier 1 and Jaume Puigdengolas with the restaurant Skina in Marbella.

4th of July

Every 4th of July, the independence of the United States is celebrated at Plaza del Obispo. Spain supported its independence from the beginning through the military figure of Bernardo de Gálvez.

Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid was a soldier from Malaga. He fought along with the United States, against the English, in Pensacola. For being considered a hero, a city with his name was founded in his honor, Galveston, in the State of Texas.

Malaga’s Pompidou, the first location outside France

Malaga facts - Pompidou

Over than 100,000 visitors passed by this avant-garde museum this last month of August and that’s no surprise because “The Cube” houses a collection so ambitious as varied, from Leger, Magritte and Frida Kahlo to Brancusi, Giacometti, Tàpies or Miró.

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Malaga’s Fair

The fair of Malaga has its origin in the incorporation of Malaga to the Crown of Castile by the Catholic Kings, that entered in the city on August 19, 1487.

The Biznaga (Jasmin posy)

Malaga facts - Biznaga

The biznaga is one of the city’s symbols, uniting beauty and perfume in a single element. It involves placing a bouquet of jasmines in the stem of a dry thistle. The biznagueros sell our biznaga in the summer nights.

Picasso in the Book of Records

We cannot talk of Malaga without quoting the master among masters so to give you a different touch perhaps you will be interested to know, before visiting its Museum and residence, that the painter was so prolific that he deserved to appear without wanting to in the famous Guinness Book of Records.

Malaga and its film festival

If there is an event of importance within the Spanish film industry is the Malaga Spanish Film Festival. It is a platform that every year struggles for the promotion and dissemination of the tireless work of the Spanish audiovisual sector. This festival encourages all kinds of discussions and presentations that also unveil its potential difficulties. In this sense, the Biznaga de Oro is currently a very coveted award (if not more) like the Goya.

Terral

It is a type of wind very common in Malaga, a warm wind that hits the city and the coast in the summer months, rising the temperatures.

Words and expressions

Malaga citizens have a very peculiar way of talking. There are hundreds of words and expressions that are only spoken in Malaga. Thieves are called “fangutas”. When you are woozy you are “alabo“. To give a “cosqui” is to give a blow on the head. To be “esmallao” is to be starving or “make a pirula” is overlook a road rule…

Verdiales

Malaga facts - Verdiales

It is the oldest of the Malaga songs. Consists of a particular sung and danced fandango. It is accompanied of a small orchestra composed by a violin, from two to four guitars, a tambourine, two or more pairs of cymbals, several castanets and, in some of its styles, a lute or bandurria.

With this dance, men courted the women during the verdial olives harvest.

The power of Malaga Wine

Who could resist to accompany a tapa from Pimpi with a good Malaga wine? This happens because in Malaga there are 45 wineries and 265 denominations. As is commonly known, in Malaga it is typical to go out to a terrace and gather around a good plate of fried fish with friends or family, so in this province the wine fulfils almost a social role.

 

The origin of the Costa del Sol

Curiosidades sobre Málaga - Costa del Sol

The expression Costa del Sol, contrary to what it might seem doesn’t has its origin in Spain but we must move to Austria, no more and no less.

It is said that this name was given by an Austrian consul that lived in Cadiz and travelled regularly along the coast to Almería and that was surprised to see the amazing weather that he always enjoyed when passing along the coast of Malaga.

 

The first Spanish industrial city

The province of Malaga was, during the Industrial Revolution, one of the most advanced Spanish regions, especially in the foundry sector, an example of this is the famous Larios family saga. Malaga during this time had dozens of factories so it became the first industrial city of the Iberian Peninsula.

 

The opening of Puerto Banús

Curiosidades sobre Málaga - Puerto Banús

Currently, Puerto Banus is a worldwide event, and a good example of this is that you could see the major personalities of that time at its opening: the actors Tony Curtis and Sean Connery, Prince Rainier of Monaco and Grace Kelly, Onassis or a young Julio Iglesias, among other very prominent figures on the international scene.

 

WHERE TO STAY

Fuerte Marbella

If you decide to visit the Costa del Sol and enjoy the city of Málaga, there’s nothing better than staying in a prestigious hotel. Fuerte Marbella offers you all kinds of services and amenities in the heart of this town in Marbella. You can also choose Fuerte Estepona, which is located on the beach and is 5 minutes from the centre of the town between Gibraltar and Puerto Banús. It is an environmentally-friendly locale that offers all kinds of services.  On the other hand, if you prefer to see the east, you can do so by staying in the Apartamentos Fuerte Calaceite between Torrox and Nerja, typical Andalusian villages with the best climate in Europe.

This chain has over 50 years of experience as a leading chain. Holidays with friends, with family or friends, however you choose to travel fits these hotels perfectly.

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