Along with the Port of Cadiz, the Port of Málaga is the oldest Port in Spain. The city was founded by Phoenicians in the 10th century BC and given the name Malaka. The main pockets of population were concentrated at the foot of Mount Gibralfaro, which was by the sea at the time. The Port of Málaga was also founded at this time, and it had an industrial section and a commercial section.
Nevertheless, there are traces of life in the province of Málaga that date back to before this time. The Archaeological Site of the Antequera Dolmens from the Neolithic era and cave paintings in the Nerja Caves are amongst the traces of previous inhabitants.
During Roman times, Málaga had a prominent position in the Empire. Products such as minerals, ceramics and food were shipped from the Port of Málaga to Rome. Wine and oil were amongst the items exported.
A key port during the Muslim era
Málaga and its port also played a major role during the Muslim era. Indeed, several monuments are still standing from this area, such as the Alcazaba de Málaga, the Alcazaba de Antequera, Gibralfaro Castle and the labyrinth of streets in many of the villages. Many recipes and typical dishes have also endured in the region's cuisine.
Málaga was also the gateway of the Catholic Monarchs into the Kingdom of Granada. From this point onwards in the 16th century, Christian churches and palaces started to be built all over the province in different architectural styles – buildings that are authentic relics today.