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Malaga is a port city in Andalusia, southern Spain, on the Costa del Sol coast of the Mediterranean. According the 2006 census the population is 558,287. (36°43′N 4°25′W)

Population of the city of Malaga proper was 558,287 as of 2005 estimates. Population of the urban area was 814,000 as of 2005 estimates. Population of the metropolitan area (urban area plus satellite towns) was 1,074,074 as of 2005 estimates, ranking as the fifth largest metropolitan area in Spain.

Malaga is surrounded by mountains, lying in the southern base of the Axarquía hills, and two rivers, the Guadalmedina (it’s on the left bank) and the Guadalhorce, flow near the city into the Mediterranean.

The climate is mild and equable, the mean annual temperature being about 19 °C (66 °F). For its broad sky and broad expanse of bay the city has been compared to Naples.

The inner city of Malaga is just behind the harbour. The quarters of El Perchel, La Trinidad and Lagunillas surround this centre. The city has much revenue from the agricultural sector and from tourism.

The Holy Week, Semana Santa, and the Malaga Fair, "Feria de Malaga" are the two most well-known of Malaga’s festivals.

The Phoenicians founded the city Malaka here, in about 1000 BC. The name Malaka is probably derived from the Phoenician word for salt because fish was salted near the harbour.

About six centuries later, the Romans conquered the city along with the other Spanish areas of Carthago. From the 5th century AD it was under the rule of the Visigoths.

In the 8th century, Spain was conquered by the Moors, and the city became an important centre of trade. Malaga was first a possession of the Caliphate of Cordoba. After the fall of the Umayyad dynasty, it became the capital of a distinct kingdom, dependent on Granada. During this time, the city was called Mālaqah.

At a late stage of the reconquista, the reconquering of Spain, Malaga became Christian again, in 1487.

Malaga did not undergo fierce bombing by Francoist insurgent air forces during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Tourism on the adjacent Costa del Sol boosted the city's economy from the 1960s onwards.

The magnum opus of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, "Malagueña", is named for the music of the Gypsies of this region of Spain.

Under the Visigoths Malaga was made an Episcopal see. The earliest known bishop was Patricius, consecrated about 290, and present at the Council of Eliberis (in present Elvira). Hostegesis governed te sene from 845 to 864.

After the battle of Guadalete the city passed into the hands of the Arabs, and the bishopric was suppressed under both Moorish states.

In 1487 Isabel and Fernando besieged the city, which after a desperate resistance was compelled to surrender; and with the Christian religion, the Episcopal see was restored. The first bishop after the restoration was Pedro Diaz.

The see was vacant from 1835 to 1848. The Catholic diocese was, by the Concordat of 1851, made a suffrage of the archbishopric of Granada, having previously been dependent on the archbishopric of Seville.

Unfinished tower of Cathedral Since the concordat of 1851 the Cathedral Chapter has numbered 20 canons and 11 beneficed clerics. There were in the diocese (1910) 520,000 Catholics, a few Protestants: 123 parishes, 481 priests, and 200 churches and chapels; the Augustinian Fathers had a college at Ronda; the Piarists were teaching at Archegonia and the Brothers of St. John of God had schools at Antequera, at which place there is also a Capuchin monastery.

In the town of Malaga were convents for women, including Bernardines, Cistercians, Augustinians, Poor Clares, Carmelites and Dominicans. The Little Sisters of the Poor maintain homes for the aged and infirm at Malaga, Antequera and Ronda.

Nowadays in Malaga there is a wide religious choice from Occident and Orient: Most of the citizens declare themselves to be Catholics. One of the most beautiful churches is the "Santuario de la Virgin Victoria".

Islam is also represented with the construction of a new mosque. The Evangelic are also making them known through a variety of different activities and social works. The Jew Community in Malaga is represented by its synagogue and the Jewish Association. It is also possible to visit the Hindi Temple and Buddhist Shrine en Benalmadena, only 12 miles from Malaga. This Buddhist Shrine (stupa) is the biggest in Europa.


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