On the 28th of September the choir’s biennial trip abroad takes the members to the Spanish city of Malaga, the capital of the Costa del Sol. Malaga airport is the gateway for the well known sun resorts of Marbella,Torrremolinos, Nerga and Benalmedina and possibly as a consequence of this the city and surrounds are often seen as just another sun hot spot; however nothing could be further from the truth as Malaga has more than 3,000 years of history, indeed it is one of the oldest cities in the world – founded in 770 BC by the Phoenicians – inhabitants of Canaan ( also known as Phoenicia) located in present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel.
The many monuments and historical buildings found in the city manifest a very rich and extensive history that evolved over the centuries.
Turning back the pages of time to the 6th century we find the historical city under the influence of ancient Carthage until it was conquered by the Romans who created a colony that was federated to Rome until 82 AD whereupon it attained the status of a Roman Municipality. The Romans spent more than 300 years in Malaga- time enough to leave a sizable archaeological footprint. The biggest evidence of the Romans stay is the remains of a Roman amphitheater found to the west of the Alcazaba fortress. It was built in the first century AD and used as the main entertainment venue in the city.
714 saw the Moorish conquest of the city followed by various Muslim Dynasties – it was a period of great prosperity mainly due to the development of the textile industry. The Roman amphitheater was used as a quarry to prepare stone to build the adjoining Alcazaba fortress palace. As a result the amphitheater was covered over and buried until it was accidentally uncovered by workmen in 1950 and restored to its former glory.
With the alliance of Ferdinand 11 of Aragon and Isabella of Castile (known as the Catholic Monarchs) the Christians took control of Malaga and set about putting their own mark on the city. They converted the Aljama mosque into a cathedral and consecrated it under the protection of Santa Maria de la Encarnacion (St. Mary of the Incarnation). Today it is one of Malaga’s most famous buildings.
The city fell to French forces in 1812, and the 19th century saw the city prosper when two wealthy families: the Heredia (iron and steel) and the Larios (textile) brought their factories to Malaga.
In February 1937 pro-Franco forces overran the city during the Spanish Civil War. It was a very bloody conflict which resulted in a great loss of life.
1950 brought tourism and a vital injection to the local economy. Over the last sixty or so years tourism has flourished and given a new way of life and prosperity to the people.
=============================================================================== Further historical information on Malaga’s well know sites can be found in the members area of the Website.