After a period of Carthaginian rule, Malaka became part of the Roman Empire. In its Roman stage, the city ) showed a remarkable degree of development. Transformed into confederated city, it was under a special law, the Lex Flavia Malacitana. A Roman theatre was built at this time.After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it was ruled first by the Visigoths and then by the Byzantine Empire.
In the 8th century, during the Muslim Arabic rule over Spain, the city became an important trade center. Málaga was first a possession of the Caliphate of Córdoba. After the fall of the Umayyad dynasty, it became the capital of a distinct kingdom ruled by the Zirids. During this time, the city was called Mālaqah. From 1025 it was the capital of the autonomous Taifa of Málaga, until its conquest by the Taifa of Granada in 1057.
Málaga had a period of rapid development in the 19th century, becoming with Barcelona one of the two most industrialized cities of Spain. But that early industry was gradually dismantled, because the successive national governments were supporting the industrial centers in the north of the country.
After the coup of July 1936 the government of the Second Spanish Republic retained control of Málaga. Its harbor was a base of the Spanish Republican Navy at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. It suffered heavy bombing by Italian warships which took part in breaking the Republican navy's blockade of Nationalist-held Spanish Morocco and took part in naval bombardment of Republican-held Malaga. After the Battle of Málaga and the Francoist takeover in February 1937, over seven thousand people were killed. The city also suffered shelling later by Spanish Republican naval units.
The most important destination, known as "the capital of the Costa del Sol". Tourists usually visit the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and the Museo Picasso Málaga, the Carmen Thyssen Museum, the old town or the beaches. The Málaga harbour is also the second busiest cruise port of the Iberian Peninsula.
A popular walk leads up the hill to the Gibralfaro castle offering panoramic views over the city. The castle is next to the Alcazaba, the old Muslim palace, which in turn is next to the inner city of Málaga. Other nearby attractions are the Roman Theatre, the old Jewish quarter, the Cathedral, and the Church of Santiago in mudéjar style. A popular walk follows the Paseo del Parque (a promenade that runs alongside a grand park with many palm trees and statues) to the harbour, ending in Calle Larios, the main commercial street of the city. There is also a curious museum, the Museum of the Holy Week, which includes an impressive display of Baroque ecclesiastical items.
The Fiesta Mayor de Verdiales takes place every year on 28 December during which Spain's April Fool Day is celebrated.
Fiestas de Carnaval event takes prior to the holy 40 days of Lent every February. People dressed in traditional costumes join the festivities, which include Flamenco dancing, and a parade. One more highlight of this festival is the stalls selling traditional pottery and artifacts.