Málaga (mäˈlägä) [key], city (1990 pop. 560,495), capital of Málaga prov., S Spain, in Andalusia, on the Guadalmedina River and the Costa del Sol. Picturesquely situated on the Bay of Málaga, it is one of the best Spanish Mediterranean ports. Olives, almonds, dried fruits, Málaga wine, and iron ore are exported. Textiles and construction materials are produced. Málaga's mild climate and luxurious vegetation, as well as the beautiful beaches nearby, make it also a popular resort.
Founded (12th cent. B.C.) by the Phoenicians, the city passed to the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Visigoths, and finally (711) the Moors. It flourished from the 13th cent. as a seaport of the Moorish kingdom of Granada, until it fell to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1487. Although largely modern in aspect, the city has several historic buildings, including a cathedral begun in the 16th cent., the ruins of a Moorish alcazar, and an imposing citadel called the Gibralfaro. Picasso was born in Málaga, and there is a museum of his works.