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Málaga (mäˈlägä), city (1990 pop. 560,495), capital of Málaga prov., S Spain, in Andalusia, on the Guadalmedina River and the Costa del Sol. Picturesquely situated on the Bay of Málaga, it is one of the best Spanish Mediterranean ports. Olives, almonds, dried fruits, Málaga wine, and iron ore are exported. Textiles and construction materials are produced. Málaga's mild climate and luxurious vegetation, as well as the beautiful beaches nearby, make it also a popular resort.

Founded (12th cent. B.C.) by the Phoenicians, the city passed to the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Visigoths, and finally (711) the Moors. It flourished from the 13th cent. as a seaport of the Moorish kingdom of Granada, until it fell to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1487. Although largely modern in aspect, the city has several historic buildings, including a cathedral begun in the 16th cent., the ruins of a Moorish alcazar, and an imposing citadel called the Gibralfaro. Picasso was born in Málaga, and there is a museum of his works and several other art museums.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in southern Spain, in Andalusia; capital of Malaga Province. Population, 374,500 (1970). Important Mediterranean port with warehouse facilities; railroad and highway junction. Málaga’s industries include wine-making (traditional dessert wines), olive-oil production, the canning of fruit, vegetables, and fish, and sugar refining. Among the branches of industry is the manufacture of chemicals and petrochemicals. Málaga has enterprises of the woodworking and textile industries, as well as a shipyard. The cargo turnover of its port, which was 3.5 million tons in 1969, consists primarily of petroleum imports. Málaga is a major resort with beaches and many hotels and boarding houses.

Málaga was founded probably after 1100 B.C. by the Phoenicians, who named the settlement Malaca. In the third century B.C. it fell to the Romans and became an important port. The city was a large economic center (production of silk fabrics) beginning in the early eighth century, at which time it became an Arab possession. In the 11th century, Málaga became the center of the emirate. On Aug. 19, 1487, the city was conquered by Castilian troops and annexed to Castile. In 1501 and again from 1568 to 1570 it was a center of Morisco uprisings. During the Spanish Revolution of 1868-74 a Bakuninist uprising took place in Malaga in July 1873. In the National Revolutionary War of 1936-39, Malaga was a base of the Republican fleet until the city’s capture by the Italian fascist troops in February 1937.

Málaga is the site of the ruins of a Roman theater. Monuments of Arabic architecture include the Alcazaba (rebuilt in the ninth century from a Roman fortress) and the Gibralfaro Castle (rebuilt in the 13th century from a Phoenician fortress building). More recent monuments include a Renaissance cathedral (from 1528, architect D. de Silhoé, unfinished), the late Gothic churches of Nuestra Senora de la Victoria (1487) and Santiago (1490, bell tower in the mudejar style), and the baroque churches of Santos Martires (15th-18th centuries) and San Juan (18th century). The Church of Santo Cristo de la Salud (17th century) houses a provincial museum.



a grape dessert wine with a sugar content of 20 to 30 percent and an alcohol content of 12 to 18 percent by volume. A dark condensed must is added to give Malaga its characteristic dark gold color. Malaga has been produced since ancient times in Spain from the Pedro Ximenez grape grown around the city of Malaga. In the USSR the best Malagas are produced in the Turkmen, Uzbek, and Armenian SSR’s.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.