THE castles in Malaga provide its landscapes with grandiose silhouettes.
Malaga has over 90 legendary fortresses scattered throughout the province, however the passage of time of some of Malaga’s castles has led these iconic fortresses to a gradual ruin.
That said, many still maintain their magnificent constructions and are a must-see for historical aficionados.
The Olive Press takes a look a five of the best castles in Malaga:
1. Fortress Alcazaba and Gibralfaro
The Alcazaba de Malaga, dating back to the 10th century, presides majestically over Malaga city and port and is today one of the most visited monuments in Malaga.
The hill where the Gibralfaro sitsforms part of the Montes de Malaga mountain range, located to the east and north of Malaga city, a land protected by the Montes’ natural park status.
The castle was built in 929AD by Abd-al-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba, on a former Phoenician enclosure and lighthouse and used to observe the population settled at its feet as well as those trying to access the city by land and sea.
A walk through its surroundings will take you to a nearby old Roman theatre and a few feet away is the beginning of the city centre and its most emblematic streets.
2. Alcazaba de Antequera.
The Alcazaba de Antequera looks out over the historic city of Antequera, it occupies an entire hilltop, surrounded by the best views in the area.
Its keep, with an angular floor plan, is the most important feature and considered one of the widest Andalucian Muslim keeps.
In 1582 a bell tower was added to the top of this tower to house the largest bell in the whole city.
3. Castillo Sohail, Fuengirola.
The Castillo Soahil in Fuengirola, located right at the mouth of the Fuengirola River, dates from the 10th century and was constructed on the ruins of a simple Greco-Latin settlement.
In 1485 the Castillo de Sohail was occupied by the Christian armies battling against the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada.
Currently it is one of the symbols of this Malaga coastal city and home to numerous concerts and specatcles all year round.
4. Castillo de Marbella.
Located in the centre of Marbella, the Castillo de Marbella is a 9th or 10th century construction built during the reign of Abderraman III, the first of the Caliphs of Al-Anadalus.
The castle is the most important vestige of the Muslim civilisation that remains in the centre of Marbella, forming part of the city’s historical old quarter.
The walls were reinforced with eleven rectangular towers of different sizes to aid protect the city from potential attacks.
In the 19th century, the castle ceased to be used for military purposes and its interior was occupied by various buildings, so that the only visible trace of its military past are its walls.
5. Castillo Bil Bil, Benalmadena.
This Arab-style construction was originally built in 1927 for a wealthy family of the time, it was taken over by Benalmadena Town Council in 1980 and turned it into a cultural space for the town.
The surrounding area has gardens with several Moorish-inspired fountains which together with its nocturnal lights afford it a singular beauty.
Currently used for exhibitions, concerts, conferences and is where the largest amount of civil weddings held in a public building in Malaga take place.