We were in the part of the cruise that had a new port every day, mostly along the southern coast of Spain. Our next port was Málaga, a city thought to be 3000 years old. Established first by the Phoenicians approximately 700BC, the name Málaga, meant “queen” in their language. The city was also ruled by the Romans, Moors and eventually Christians.
Our tour took us to La Alcazaba, also called Castillo de Gibralfaro. On this relief map it is on the high point over looking the city. (The cathedral is in the right foreground.)
The fortress, originating in the Roman era, was abandoned and restored many times. The site was extensively expanded and modified by the Moors late in their occupation of 711 – 1492.
Spanish monarchs, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, captured the city in 1492.
From high up on the hill those in charge, and we, had a good view of the sea and the city below.
We saw our ship, the Nieuw Statendam.
We saw the Bull Ring.
We saw the Málaga Cathedral.
The “Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga” is similar to other cathedrals we saw with a large central nave and altar.
There was an ornate choir.
And a very old organ.
There were side chapels.
The Málaga Cathedral was built between 1528-1782. While still unfinished, construction was stopped due to a lack of funding. It is widely believed that the city of Málaga contributed funds to the American revolution. Our tour guide told us that the US offered to help complete the cathedral post revolution but the offer was declined.
Christian rulers in Málaga, and throughout Spain, built churches over mosques, or refit them for Christian purposes. This entrance still has the Arabic arch.
In more recent Málaga history, Pablo Picasso was born here October 25, 1881 on the first floor of the building behind his statue. His childhood home was on this square. At the age of ten his family moved to Barcelona where he was educated. Picasso eventually moved to Paris. There is a Picasso museum in Málaga, opened in 2003, with artifacts given by his daughter in law Christine Picasso.
This Obelisk was dedicated to celebrate the Heroes of Independence in 1921.
This Roman theater was discovered in 1951 during excavations, It is used once again for concerts and has great acoustics.
The discovery of old ruins continues to happen. This construction site was on-hold until the archeologists determined what was there and how best to preserve it.
In 1960 actor Antonio Banderas was born in Málaga. He lives here part time and built a large performing arts venue for the city.
In 1974 Málaga became a sister city with Mobile, Alabama.
In 2022 we saw this yacht in the Málaga marina. It was so white, so spartan, so quiet and so boring that we wondered if it was confiscated from a Russian oligarch. There were very few people ever visible and no deck chairs or color anywhere.
We eventually saw the name, Rising Sun, and did some research. It was built in 2004 for Larry Ellison the CEO of Oracle Corporation. Hollywood mogul David Geffen bought a half share in Rising Sun in 2006 and then the entire yacht in 2010. The initial build cost was $200 million but with refits it is valued at $570 million. The yacht’s annual expenses are estimated to be $25-40 million.
We learned that many celebrities have spent time on the Rising Sun. Also, billionaire David Geffen was highly criticized for posts showing self isolation on his yacht in the Caribbean during the early days of COVID. We don’t often side with billionaires on anything, but self isolating on the ocean during a pandemic does seem to make some sense.
Randy watched activity on and around the yacht with his binoculars and believes he saw David Geffen alone on the bow at one time.
We enjoyed doing research about the Rising Sun and more yachts and ships we saw in various ports. More to come in future posts!