Bilbao And Málaga

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Bilbao is a municipality and city in Spain, the capital of the province of Biscay in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. With a population of 353,187 as of 2010, it is the largest city of its autonomous community and the tenth largest in Spain. With roughly 1 million inhabitants, Bilbao lies within one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain(SONY PCG-5G2L battery). The Bilbao metropolitan area includes the comarca of Greater Bilbao (875,552) plus satellite towns, ranking the fifth largest in Spain.

Bilbao is situated in the north-central part of Spain, some 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) south of the Bay of Biscay, where the estuary of Bilbao is formed. Its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges with an average elevation of 400 metres (1,300 ft) (SONY PCG-5G3L battery).

Since its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, Bilbao was a commercial hub that enjoyed significant importance in the Green Spain, mainly thanks to its port activity based on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and beginnings of the twentieth(SONY PCG-F305 battery), Bilbao experienced heavy industrialization that made it the centre of the second industrialized region of Spain, behind Barcelona.[8][9] This was joined by an extraordinary population explosion that prompted the annexation of several adjacent municipalities. Nowadays, Bilbao is a vigorous service city that is experiencing an ongoing social, economic, and aesthetic revitalization process(SONY PCG-5J1L battery), started by the symbolic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, and continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Alhóndiga, or the currently under development Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre renewal projects.

Etymology

The official name of the city is Bilbao, as known in most languages of the world. Euskaltzaindia, the official regulatory institution of the Basque language(SONY PCG-5J2L battery), agreed that between the two possible names existing in Basque, Bilbao and Bilbo, that the historical name in Basque is Bilbo, while keeping the officialty of the first one.[14] Although the term Bilbo does not appear on old documents, in the play The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, there is a reference of swords presumably made of Biscayan iron to which he calls "bilboes", which might suggest that it is a word used since at least the sixteenth century(SONY PCG-5K2L battery).

There is no consensus among historians about the origin of the name. The engineer Evaristo de Churruca said that is a Basque custom to name a place after its location, for Bilbao would be the result of the union of the Basque words for river and cove: Bil-Ibaia-Bao.[19] Also, historian José Tussel Gómez argues that it is just a natural evolution of the Spanish words bello vado(SONY PCG-5L1L battery), beautiful river crossing.[20] On the other hand, writer Esteban Calle Iturrino said that the name derives from the two previous settlement that existed on both banks of the estuary, more than the estuary itself. The first one, where the current Casco Viejo stands, would be called billa that in Basque means stacking, after the configuration of the buildings. The second one, located on the left bank(SONY PCG-6S2L battery), where now stands Bilbao La Vieja, would be called vaho, Spanish for mist or steam. From the union of this two, the name Bilbao would come out,[19] that previously was also written as Bilvao and Biluao, as documented in its municipal charter and its following transcriptions.[21]

Remains of an ancient settlement were found on the top of mount Malmasín, dated around the 3rd or 2nd century BC(SONY PCG-6S3L battery). Burial sites were also found on mounts Avril and Artxanda, dated 6,000 years old. Some authors identify the old settlement of Bilbao as Amanun Portus, cited by Pliny the Elder, or with Flaviobriga, by Ptolemy. Ancient walls, which date around the 11th century, have been discovered below the Church of San Antón.

Bilbao was one of the first towns that were founded in the fourteenth century(SONY PCG-6V1L battery), during a period in which approximately 70% of the Biscayan municipalities were developed, among them Portugalete in 1323, Ondarroa in 1327, Lekeitio in 1335, and Mungia and Larrabetzu in 1376. The then lord of Biscay, Diego López V of Haro, founded Bilbao through a municipal charter dated in Valladolid on June 15, 1300 and confirmed by king Ferdinand IV of Castile in Burgos(SONY PCG-6W1L battery), on January 4, 1301. Diego López established the new town on the right bank of the Nervión river, on grounds of the elizate of Begoña and granted it the fuero of Logroño, a compilation of rights and privileges that would prove fundamental to its later development.[25]

First engraving of the city, made by Franz Hohenberg in 1554 and first published in 1574. Many notable buildings can be seen, like the Santiago Cathedral, and the church of San Antón(SONY PCG-7111L battery).

On 21 June 1511, queen Joanna of Castile ordered the creation of the Consulate of Bilbao. This would become the most influential institution of the city for centuries, and would claim jurisdiction over the estuary, improving its infrastructure. Under the Consulate's control, the port of Bilbao became one of the most important of Spain. The first printing-press was brought to the city in 1577(SONY PCG-71511M battery). Here in 1596, the first book in Basque was edited, entitled Doctrina Christiana en Romance y Bascuence by Dr. Betolaza.

In 1602 Bilbao was made the capital city of Biscay, a title previously held by Bermeo.[28] The following centuries saw a constant increase of the city's wealth, especially after the discovery of extensive iron resources in the surrounding mountains(SONY PCG-6W3L battery). At the end of the 17th century, Bilbao overcame the economical crises that affected Spain, thanks to the iron ore and its commerce with England and the Netherlands. During the 18th century, the city continued to grow and almost exhausted its small space(SONY PCG-7113L battery).

The Battle of Luchana.

The Basque Country was one of the main sites of battles of the Carlist Wars, and the Carlists very much wanted to conquer the city, a liberal and economic bastion. The city was besieged three times between 1835 and 1874, but all proved unsuccessful. One of the main battles of this time was the Battle of Luchana in 1836, when Liberal general Baldomero Espartero defeated the Carlists, freeing the city(SONY PCG-7133L battery).

Despite the warfare, the city prospered during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when it rose as the economical centre of the Basque Country. During this time, the first railway was built (in 1857), the Bank of Bilbao was founded (which later would become the BBVA), and the Bilbao Stock Exchange was created. Many industries flourished, such as Altos Hornos de Vizcaya in 1902(SONY PCG-7Z1L battery). The city grew in area with the Abando ensanche and was modernized with new avenues and walkways, as well as with new modern buildings such as the City Hall, the Basurto Hospital and the Arriaga Theatre. The population increased dramatically, going from 11,000 in 1880 to 80,000 in 1900. Social movements also occurred, specially the Basque nationalism under Sabino Arana(SONY PCG-7Z2L battery).

The Spanish Civil War started in Bilbao with small uprisings suppressed by the Republican forces. On 31 August 1936, the city suffered the first bombing. On the next month, further bombings by German planes occurred, in coordination with Franco's forces. In May 1937, the Nationalist army besieged the city. The battle lasted until 19 June of that year, when Lieutenant Colonel Putz was ordered to destroy all bridges over the estuary(SONY PCG-8Y1L battery), and the troops of the 5th Brigade took the city from the mountains Malmasin, Pagasarri, and Arnotegi.

Bilbao in the 1950s.

With the war over, Bilbao returned to its industrial development, accompanied by a steady population growth. In the 1940s, the city was rebuilt, starting with the bridges. In 1948, the first commercial flight took off from the local airport. Over the next decade(SONY PCG-8Y2L battery), there was a revival of the iron industry. The demand for housing outstripped supply, and workers built slums in the hillsides. In this chaotic environment, on 31 July 1959, the terrorist organization ETA was born in Bilbao, as a faction of the PNV.

After the fall of Francoist Spain and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy, in a process known in Spain as the transition(SONY PCG-8Z2L battery), Bilbao could hold democratic elections again. Against what happened in the republics, this time Basque nationalists rose to power.[37] With the approval of the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country in 1979, Vitoria-Gasteiz was elected the seat of the government and therefore the de facto capital of the Basque Autonomous Community, despite Bilbao being larger and more powerful economically(SONY PCG-8Z1L battery). In the 1980s, several factors such as terrorism, labor demands, and the arrival of cheap labor force from the abroad, led to a devastating industrial crisis.

Since the mid 1990s, Bilbao has been in a process of deindustrialization and transition to a service city, supported by investment in infrastructure and urban renewal, that started with the opening of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum (the so-called Guggenheim effect) (SONY PCG-7112L battery), and continued with the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall, Santiago Calatrava's Zubizuri, the metro network by Norman Foster, the tram, the Iberdrola Tower and the Zorrozaurre development plan, among other. Many officially-supported associations, as Bilbao Metrópoli-30 and Bilbao Ría 2000 were created to monitor this projects(SONY PCG-6W2L battery).

Geography

The municipality of Bilbao is located on the northern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, about 19 kilometres (12 mi) from the Bay of Biscay.[40] It covers an area of 40.65 square kilometres (15.70 sq mi), of which 17.35 square kilometres (6.70 sq mi) are urban, and the remaining 23.30 square kilometres (9.00 sq mi) consist of the surrounding mounts. (SONY PCG-5K1L battery) The official average altitude is 19 metres (62 ft), although there are measurements between 6 metres (20 ft) and 32 metres (105 ft).[42] It is also the core of the comarca of Greater Bilbao. It is surrounded by the municipalities of Derio, Etxebarri, Galdakao, Loiu, Sondika, and Zamudio to the north; Arrigorriaga and Basauri to the west; Alonsotegi to the south; and Barakaldo and Erandio to the east(SONY VGP-BPS13 battery).

Orography

Bilbao is located on the Basque threshold, the range between the larger Cantabrian Mountains and the Pyrenees.[43] The composition of the soil is predominated by mesozoic materials (limestone, sandstone, and marl) sedimented over a primitive paleozoic base.[43] The province relief is dominated by NW-SE and WNW-ESE oriented folds(SONY VGP-BPS13Q battery). The main fold is the anticline of Bilbao, that runs from the municipality of Elorrio to Galdames.[43] Inside Bilbao there are two secondary folds, one in the northeast, composed by mounts Artxanda, Avril, Banderas, Pikota, San Bernabé, and Cabras; and other in the south, composed by mounts Kobetas, Restaleku, Pagasarri and Arraiz. The highest point in the municipality is mount Ganeta(SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q battery), of 689 metres (2,260 ft), followed by mount Pagasarri, of 673 metres (2,208 ft), both on the border with Alonsotegi.

Hydrology

Main article: Estuary of Bilbao

The estuary of Bilbao crossing the city.

The main river system of Bilbao is also the hydrological artery of Biscay. Rivers Nervión and Ibaizabal converge in Basauri and form an estuary that receives the names of "estuary of Bilbao", "of the Nervión", "of the Ibaizabal", or "of the Nervión-Ibaizabal".(SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q battery)This estuary runs for 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) and with a low flow (with an average of 25 cubic metres per second).[46] Its main tributary is river Cadagua, that sources in the Mena valley and has a basin of 642 square kilometres (248 sq mi), which most of it lies in the neighboring province of Burgos.[47] This river is also the natural border between Bilbao and Barakaldo(SONY VGP-BPS13/B battery).

The river suffered from human intervention many times, as seen in the dredging of its bottom, the building of docks on both banks and especially in the Deusto canal, an artificial waterway dug between 1950 and 1968 in the district of Deusto as a lateral canal, with the aim to facilitate navigation, sparing ships from the natural curves of the estuary. (SONY VGP-BPS13B/B battery) The project was stopped with 400 metres (1,300 ft) left to complete, and it was decided to leave it as a dock.[49] However, in 2007, a plan was approved to continue the canal and form the island of Zorrozaurre.[50] Said human intervention also brought negative results in the quality of the water, and after decades of toxic waste dumping(SONY VGP-BPS13A/S battery), caused a situation of anoxia (lack of oxygen), which almost eliminated the entire fauna and flora.[46] However, in recent years this situation is being reversed, thanks to dumping clearance and natural regeneration.[51] now it is possible to observe algae, tonguefishes, crabs, and seabirds,[52] as well as occasional bathers in the summer months. (SONY VGP-BPS21A/B battery)

The estuary also works as a natural border for several neighbourhoods and districts within the city. Since entering the municipality, from the west, it divides the districts of Begoña and Ibaiondo, then Abando and Uribarri and lastly Deusto and Basurto-Zorroza(SONY VGP-BPS21B battery).

The Biscayan government

The proximity to the Bay of Biscay gives Bilbao an oceanic climate, with precipitation occurring throughout the year, without a well-defined dry summer season. This precipitation is abundant, and given the latitude and atmospheric dynamics, rainy days represent 45% and cloudy days 40% of the annual total.[54] The most rainy season is between October and April(SONY VGP-BPS21 battery), November being the wettest. Snow is not frequent in the city, while it is possible to see snow on the top of the surrounding mountains. Sleet is more frequent, about 10 days per year, mainly in the winter months.[55]

Said proximity to the ocean also makes that the two most defined seasons (summer and winter) remain mild, with low intensity thermal oscillations(SONY VGP-BPS21/S battery). Average maximum temperatures varies between 25 °C (77.0 °F) and 26 °C (78.8 °F) in the summer months, while the average minimum in winter is between 6 °C (42.8 °F) and 7 °C (44.6 °F).

Extreme record observations in Bilbao are 42.2 °C (108.0 °F) maximum (on 13 August 2003) and −8.6 °C (16.5 °F) minimum (on 3 February 1963). The maximum precipitation in a day was 225.6 mm (9 in) in 26 August 1983 when severe flooding was originated by the Nervión river(SONY VGP-BPS13S battery).

Demography

Bilbao demographic evolution (1900–2005).

The local Register office show a total resident population for Bilbao of 355,731 as of 2009.

The first credible data about Bilbao population are post-1550.[59] It is known that in 1530, Biscay had approximately 65,000 inhabitants, a number that could have been reduced by plagues that struck the city in 1517, 1530, 1564–68, and 1597–1601(SONY VGP-BPS13B/S battery), the last one being specially devastating.[59] These trend in adverse situations for population growth was maintained until the nineteenth century. Since then, Bilbao experienced an exponential population growth thanks to the industrialization of the area. After a peak of 433,115 inhabitants in 1982, the municipalities of the Txorierri valley were disannexated, with the corresponding loss of its people. (SONY VGP-BPS13B/G battery)

Of the 355,731 people residing in Bilbao as of 2009, only 114,220 (32.1%) were born inside the municipality. Of the remaining, 114,908 were born in other Biscayan towns, while 7,225 were born in the other two Basque provinces; 85,789 came from the rest of Spain (mainly Castile-León and Galicia), and finally 33,537 were foreigners. (SONY VGP-BPS14 battery) There are 127 different nationalities registered in Bilbao, although 60 of them contain fewer than 10 people.[62] On the other hand, the largest foreign communities are the Bolivian and the Colombian, with 4,879 and 3,730 respectively. They are followed by the Romanian (2,248), the Moroccan (2,058), the Ecuadorian (1,832), the Chinese (1,390), the Brazilian (1,273) and the Paraguayan, with 1,204 inhabitants. (SONY VGP-BPL14 battery)

Government

Bilbao is a municipality with a Mayor-Council form of government. The mayor and councillors are elected to four-year terms. There is a division between an executive branch, made up by the mayor and a board of governors and a Plenum, which consists of 29 councillors.[63] The present mayor is Iñaki Azkuna, of the Basque Nationalist Party which was elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011. (SONY VGP-BPS14/B battery) The councillors of the Plenum represent political parties and are distributed as follows: Basque Nationalist Party: 15 seats plus the mayor; People's Party, 6 seats; Bildu, 4 seats; and Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, 4 seats.

In 2008 and 2010, Bilbao won the Municipal Transparency Prize, awarded by the Spanish division of Transparency International. In 2009 it came second, after Sant Cugat del Vallés(SONY VGP-BPS14/S battery).

The city of Bilbao consists of eight different districts. Each district is further subdivided into neighbourhoods, totalling 35:

Economy

Headquarters of BBVA, formerly headquarters of the Bank of Biscay.

Bilbao has been the economic center of the Basque Country since the times of the Consulate, mainly because of commerce in Castilian products on the city's port, but it was not until the 19th century when it experimented a big development(SONY VGP-BPS14B battery), mainly based on the exploitation of the iron mines and siderurgy, which promoved the maritimal traffic, the portuary activity and the construction of ships.[68] During those years also made their appearance Banco de Bilbao (Bank of Bilbao), founded on Bilbao in 1857 and Banco de Vizcaya (Bank of Biscay), which is established in 1901, also in Bilbao(SONY VGP-BPS22 battery). Both entities merged in 1988 creating the BBV corporation (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Bank of Bilbao-Biscay). BBV merged with Argentaria in 1999, creating the current corporation, BBVA. The savings banks that were established locally, Caja de Ahorros Municipal de Bilbao (Municipal Savings Bank of Bilbao) in 1907, and Caja de Ahorros Provincial de Vizcaya (SONY VGP-BPS22 battery) (Provincial Savings Bank of Biscay) in 1921, would merge in 1990 and form Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa (BBK).[69] Along, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navegation of Bilbao and the Stock Exchange Market of Bilbao, founded in 1890.[70]

After the dramatic industrial crisis of the 1980s, Bilbao was forced to rethink its very economic foundations. That is how it transformed in a successful service city. Bilbao is home to numerous companies of national and international relevance(SONY VGP-BPS18 battery), including two among the 150 world's biggest, according to Forbes magazine: BBVA at #40 and Iberdrola at #122. The city's GDP per capita is of 26,225€ in 2005, considerably above the country average of 22,152€. According to the official economic yearbook, the strongest sectors are construction, commerce, and tourism. The unemployment rate reached 14.4% in 2009(SONY VGP-BPS22/A battery), well below the national rate, of 18,01%. Nevertheless, it is the largest rate in the last ten years.[76]

[edit]Port of Bilbao

Main article: Port of Bilbao

Panoramic view of the superport, as seen from mount Serantes.

The historical port was located in what today is an area called the Arenal, a few steps away the Casco Viejo, until the late 20th century. In 1902, an exterior port was built at the mouth of the estuary, in the coastal municipality of Santurtzi. Further extensions led to a superport(SONY VGP-BPS22A battery), that in the 1970s replaced the docks inside Bilbao, with the exception of those located in the neighbourhood of Zorrotza, still in activity.[78]

As of 2010, the port of Bilbao is a first-class commercial port and is among the top five of Spain.[79] Over 200 regular maritime services link Bilbao with 500 ports worldwide. It closed 2009 with cargo movements amounting to 31.6 million tonnes(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11S battery), being Russia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries the main markets.[80] In the first semester of 2008, it received over 67,000 passengers and 2,770 ships.[81] This activity reported 419 million euros to the basque GDP and generates almost 10,000 jobs.[82]

[edit]Mining and ironworks(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15T battery)

Iron is the main and most abundant raw material found in Biscay, and its extraction is legally protected since 1526. Mining was the main primary activity in Bilbao and the minerals, of great quality, was exported to all over Europe.[83] It was not until the second half of the nineteenth century when ironworks industry was developed, benefited by the resources and the well communicated city(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15G battery). In the 20th century, both Spanish and European capitals imported around the 90% of the Biscayan iron.[83] Although World War I made Bilbao one of the main ironworks powers, later crisis prompted a decline in the activity.

Tourism

The first notion of Bilbao as a touristic city came with the inauguration of the railway between Bilbao and the coastal neighbourhood of Las Arenas, in the municipality of Getxo in 1872. This way, the city became a modest beach destination. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ4000 battery)

However, the real touristic impulse would come with the inauguration of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 1997, as shown in the increasing tourist arrivals since then, reaching over 615,000 visitors in the year 2009. A significant leap, considering that during 1995, Bilbao only received 25,000 tourists.[85] Bilbao also hosts 31% of the total Basque Country visitors(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ460E battery), being the top destination of this autonomous community, above San Sebastián.[85] Most tourists come from within Spain, mainly from Madrid and Catalonia. International travellers come mostly from nearby France, but also from United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy.[85] Tourism generates about 300 million euros for the Biscayan GDP.[85] Bilbao is also an attractive destination for business tourism(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11L battery), mainly thanks to new venues such as the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall, or the nearby Bilbao Exhibition Centre, in Barakaldo.[86]

Stock exchange

Projects to create a stock exchange market in Bilbao began in early 19th century, even though it would not be created until July 21, 1890[70] It is one of Spain's four regional stock exchanges, the other being in Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia. As it, it is owned by Bolsas y Mercados Españoles. The Bilbao Stock Exchange is considered a secondary market(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11Z battery).

Urban planning

18th century picture showing the original seven parallel streets of the old town.

In its beginnings, Bilbao only had three streets (Somera, Artecalle, and Tendería) surrounded by walls located where now stands the Ronda street. Inside this enclosure, there was a small hermitage dedicated to the Apostle Saint James (the current St. James' Cathedral), to where pilgrims visited on their way to Santiago de Compostela. In the fifteenth century(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11M battery), four more streets were built, forming the original Zazpikaleak or "Seven Streets".[87] In 1571, after several floods and a major fire in 1569, the walls were demolished in order to allow the expansion of the town.[88]

In 1861, ingeneer Amado Lázaro projected an ensanche inside the then-municipality of Abando with wide avenues and regular buildings, that included the hygienists ideas of the time. The project was mostly based on Barcelona's Eixample, designed by Ildefons Cerdà. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18M battery) However, the project was dropped by the City Council after considering it "utopian and excessive" because of its high cost, though of great quality. Furthermore, Lázaro had calculated the demographic grow of the city based on the previous three centuries, a provision that eventually would not conform to reality.

The ensanche project, as proposed by Alzola, Achúcarro, and Hoffmeyer in 1876(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18 battery).

The next large urban change in Bilbao would come in 1876, when the capital annexed (in several stages) the neighbouring municipality of Abando. The new ensanche project was planned by a team made of architect Severino de Achúcarro and engineers Pablo de Alzola (elected Mayor that same year), and Ernesto de Hoffmeyer. Unlike Lázaro's(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ210CE battery), this project was significantly smaller, compassing 1.58 km2 (0.61 sq mi) against the original 2.54 km2 (0.98 sq mi).[89] It also featured a not so strict grid pattern, a park to separate the industrial and residential areas and the Gran Vía de Don Diego López de Haro, the main thoroughfare, where many relevant buildings were located, such as the Biscay Foral Delegation Palace or the BBVA Tower(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31S battery). By the end of the 1890s, this widening was half completed and already filled, so a new extension was planned by Federico Ugalde.

By 1925, the municipalities of Deusto and Begoña, as well as part of Erandio were annexed, and in 1940, the remaining of Erandio become part of Bilbao. The last annexation took place in 1966, with the municipalities of Loiu, Sondika, Derio, and Zamudio(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31Z battery). This made Bilbao larger than ever, with 107 km2 (41 sq mi). However, all this municipalities, with the exception of Deusto and Begoña were desannexed on 1 January 1983.[91]

On May 18, 2010, Bilbao was awarded by the government of Singapore with the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, at the World Cities Summit 2010.[92] It is considered the Pritzker of urbanism.

Main category: Buildings and structures in Bilbao(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31E battery)

The Guggenheim Museum, symbol of modern Bilbao.

The gothic St. James' Cathedral

Bilbao's buildings display a variety of architectural styles, ranging from gothic to contemporary architecture. The Old Town features many of the oldest buildings in the city, as the St. James' Cathedral or the Church of San Antón, included in the city's coat of arms. Most of the Old Town is a pedestrian zone during the day. Nearby is one of the most important religious temples of Biscay(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31J battery), the Basilica of Begoña, dedicated to the patron saint of the province, Our Lady of Begoña.

Seventeen bridges span the banks of the estuary inside the city limits. Among the most interesting ones are the Zubizuri (Basque for "white bridge"), a pedestrian footbridge designed by Santiago Calatrava opened in 1997, and the Princes of Spain Bridge, also known as "La Salve", a suspension bridge opened in 1972(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31M battery) and redesigned by French conceptual artist Daniel Buren in 2007.[94] The Deusto Bridge is a bascule bridge opened in 1936 and modelled after the Michigan Avenue Bridge, in Chicago.[95] Between 1890 and 1893 the first transporter bridge ("Puente Colgante") in the world on the Nervion river, between Portugalete and Getxo, was built by Alberto Palacio (architect and engineer) (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31B battery) together with his brother Silvestre.

Since the deindustrialization process started in the 1990s, many of the former industrial areas are being transformed into modern public and private spaces designed by several of the world's most renowned architects and artists. The main example is the Guggenheim Museum, located in what was an old dock and wood warehouse. The building, designed by Frank Gehry and inaugurated in October 1997(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21 battery), is considered among architecture experts as one of the most important structures of the last 30 years,[96] and a masterpiece by itself.[97] The museum houses part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation modern art collection. Another example is the Alhóndiga, a wine warehouse built in 1909 and completely redesigned in 2010 by French designer Philippe Starck into a multi-purpose venue that consist of a cinema multiplex(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21S battery), a fitness centre, a library, and a restaurant, among other spaces.[98][99]The Abandoibarra area is also being renovated, and it features not only the Guggenheim Museum, but also Arata Isozaki's tower complex, the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall and the Iberdrola Tower, designed by Argentine architect César Pelli and that will be, upon completion in 2011(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21M battery), the Basque Country's tallest skyscraper with 165 metres (541 ft) high.[100] Zorrozaurre is the next area to be redeveloped, following a 2007 master plan designed by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.

Torre Isozaki

This current peninsula will be transformed into an 500,000 m2 (5,400,000 sq ft) island and will feature residential and commercial buildings, as well as the new BBK seat. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ38M battery)

The Etxeberria park, with its distinctive chimney.

As of 2010, Bilbao has 18 public parks inside its limits, totalling 200 ha (490 acres) of green spaces. Besides, its green belt has a total area of 1,025 ha (2,530 acres), of which 119 ha (290 acres) are urbanized.[102] The largest parks are Mount Cobetas, of 18.5 ha (46 acres), and Larreagaburu, of 12 ha (30 acres), both located on the outskirts. (Sony VAIO VGN-SZ battery)

The Doña Casilda Iturrizar park is located in the district of Abando, near the city centre and covers an area of 8.5 ha (21 acres). It is named after a local benefactress who donated the grounds to the city. It is an English-style garden designed by Ricardo Bastida and opened to the public in 1907. It features a dancing water fountain surrounded by a pergola, and a pond with many species of ducks(Sony VGN-NR11S/S Battery), geese and swans, which gives the park the alternate name of "Ducks' Park", as known locally. In recent years, it was expanded to be connected with the Abandoibarra area.[104] In Ibaiondo, the Etxeberria Park was built in the 1980s in the place where previously stood a steel mill. The original chimney was maintained as a homage of its industrial past. It covers an area of 18.9 ha (47 acres) (Sony VGN-NR11M/S Battery), on a slopped terrain that overlooks the Old Town.[105] Other relevant public spaces inside the city include the Europa Park, the Miribilla Park, or the Memorial Walkway, a 3 km (1.9 mi) long walkway, with 12 m (39 ft) high lamps, located in the left bank of the estuary and that connects the main sights. (Sony VGN-NR11Z/S Battery)

Mount Artxanda is easily accessible from the city centre by a funicular. There is a recreational area in the summit, with restaurants, a sports complex and a balcony with panoramic views. In the south, Mount Pagasarri receives hundreds of hikers every weekend since the 1870s, who look for its natural wonders. Its environment is officially protected since 2007. (Sony VGN-NR11Z/T Battery)

The main building of the University of Deusto.

The Basque Country has a bilingual education system, with students having the possibility to choose between four linguistic models: A, B, D, and X, which differ in the prevalence of Basque or Spanish as the spoken and written language during classes.[108] In Bilbao, there is a prevalence of model D (Basque is the vehicle language and Spanish is taught as a subject) in Primary School(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21E battery), while Compulsory Secondary Education students favour model B (some subjects are in Basque and other in Spanish). Finally, 67% of Baccalaureate students choose model A (Spanish is the vehicle language and Basque is a subject).[109] English is the most widespread foreign language taught, as it is the option for 97% of pre-university students. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21Z battery)

[edit]Higher education

Bilbao is home to two universities. The oldest is the University of Deusto, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1886. It took its name after the then independent municipality of Deusto, annexed to Bilbao in 1925. It was the only higher education offer in the city until the establishment in 1968 of the University of Bilbao, that would later become the University of the Basque Country in 1980(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21J battery). This public university, present in the three provinces of the autonomous community, has its main Biscayan campus in the municipality of Leioa, however it homes in Bilbao the Technical and Business faculties.[110]

Inside the airport terminal.

Bagatza station fosterito.

The Bilbao Airport serves the city and it is the busiest terminal in the Basque Country and in the entire Northern coast, with 3,9 million passengers in 2010. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW11 battery)It is located 12 km (7.46 mi) north from the city, between the municipalities of Loiu and Sondika.[113] 15 airlines operate in the terminal, including Iberia, Lufthansa, and TAP Portugal. Top destinations include London, Frankfurt, Munich, Madrid, Paris, Malaga, and Amsterdam.[112] It opened to the public in September 1948, with a regular flight to Madrid. On 19 November 2000(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M battery), a new terminal building was opened, designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava. In February 2009, a project was approved to expand the current building to duplicate its capacity. Although expected to be completed by 2014, the current financial crisis and the decrease of passenger traffic delayed it to at least 2019. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S battery)

The city has 13 bridges connecting both sides of the river, it is connected to the European road network by the AP-8 toll motorway and to the north of Spain by the A-8 motorway and to the rest of Spain by the AP-68 toll motorway.

The underground network (Metro Bilbao), inaugurated in 11 November 1995, is used by more than 85 million passengers every year. It has 2 lines that connect both banks of the Bilbao Metropolitan Area. There is a project under way to build a third line(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E battery).

The city has 43 Bilbobus bus lines, 28 for normal buses, seven "micro-buses" for zones of the city that a normal bus cannot access, and eight night lines. The inner-city bus network has recently won a prize for its efficiency and quality of service. In addition, there are more than 100 BizkaiBus bus lines, connecting Bilbao with almost every point in Biscay and part of Alava. The city's main bus station is called Termibus and is located near the San Mamés stadium(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J battery).

There are 7 commuter rail lines operated by three different companies:

In 2002, the new tramway, EuskoTran, was inaugurated. It has one line connecting Atxuri with Basurto. Plans are afoot to greatly expand the network over the coming decade.

A Brittany Ferries ferry service links Santurtzi, near Bilbao, to Portsmouth (UK). MV Cap Finistère ferry departs from the port of Bilbao, 15 km (9 mi) north west of the city centre. A service operated by Acciona Trasmediterranea served the same route from May 16(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L battery), 2006 until April 2007. P&O Ferries operated this route until its withdrawal on 28 September 2010 with a ship called the Pride of Bilbao.

Bilbao has several theatres and concert halls (Teatro Arriaga, Palacio Euskalduna), cinemas, and a regular opera season offered by ABAO (Bilbao Association of Opera Lovers) . The Bilbao Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1922, its current conductor Günter Neuhold being appointed in 2008(Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M battery). Choral music is very popular in the Basque Country and concerts are offered regularly. The Bilbao Choral Society (Sociedad Coral de Bilbao) was founded in 1886.

Museums include the famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao of contemporary art and the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, with a great collection of Spanish painting.

Like in other Spanish cities, night life is long and vibrant, with clubs that offer live music (Kafe Antzokia, Bilborock) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H battery).

Bilbao was briefly featured at the start of the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.

The Bilbao Live Festival, initiated in 2006, is another measure of new interest[115]

Marijaia, the symbol of the Aste Nagusia saluting from the Arriaga Theatre.

Semana Grande (Spanish for Big Week, Aste Nagusia in Basque) is Bilbao's main festival attracting over 100,000 people. It begins on the Saturday of the 3rd week of August each year(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M battery), lasting 9 days and has been celebrated since 1978. People from around Spain, and increasingly from abroad, attend the celebrations.

The celebrations include the strongman games, free music performances, street entertainment, bullfighting and nightly firework displays. The best views of the display are from the city's bridges. Each year, there is something different occurring, thus a festival programme (these are available all over the city) is strongly recommended(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z battery).

Like in most of both Spain and the Basque country, football (soccer) is the most popular competitive sport, followed by basketball.

The main football club is Athletic Club, commonly known as Athletic Bilbao in English. It plays at the San Mamés stadium, which is Spain's oldest built stadium and seats 39,750 spectators.[116] Athletic Bilbao was one of the founding members of the Spanish football league, La Liga, and has played in the Primera División (First Division) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW32J battery) ever since - winning it on eight occasions. Its red and white striped flag is to be seen throughout the city.

The main basketball team is CB Bilbao Berri aka Bizkaia Bilbao Basket, which plays in the ACB. Their home venue is the Bilbao Arena.

In addition, Bilbao offers the possibility of many outdoor activities owing to its location in a hilly countryside, hiking is very popular as well as rock climbing in the nearby mountains. Watersports, specially surfing is practiced in the beaches of Sopelana and Mundaka(Sony VAIO VGN-FW17W battery), easily accessed from the city centre by car, metro or train.

Málaga (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmalaɣa]) is a city and a municipality in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of 568,507 in 2010, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. The southernmost large city in Europe, it lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean, about 100 km (62.14 mi) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km (80.78 mi) north of Africa(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31E battery).

Málaga enjoys a subtropical–mediterranean climate. It has one of the warmest winters in Europe, with average temperatures of 17 °C (62.6 °F) during the day and 7–8 °C (45–46 °F) at night in the period from December through February. The summer season lasts about eight months, from April through November, although in the remaining four months temperatures sometimes reach around 20 °C (68.0 °F) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E battery).

Málaga's history spans about 2,800 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded by the Phoenicians as Malaka about 770 BC, and from the 6th century BC was under the hegemony of Ancient Carthage. Then from 218 BC it was ruled by the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire as Malaca (Latin) (Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H battery). After the fall of the empire it was under Islamic Arab domination as Mālaqah (مالقة) for 800 years, but in 1487 it came under the dominion of the Spaniards in the Reconquista. The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian eras make the historic center of the city an "open museum", displaying its rich history of more than 3,000 years(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M battery).

This important cultural infrastructure and the rich artistic heritage have culminated in the nomination of Málaga as a candidate for the 2016 European Capital of Culture.

The internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso and actor Antonio Banderas were born in Málaga. The magnum opus of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, "Malagueña", is named for the music of this region of Spain(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31J battery).

The most important business sectors in Málaga are tourism, construction and technology services, but other sectors such as transportation and logistics are beginning to expand. The Andalusia Technology Park (PTA), located in Málaga, has enjoyed significant growth since its inauguration in 1992. Málaga is the main economic and financial center of southern Spain(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31Z battery), home of the region's largest bank, Unicaja, and the fourth-ranking city in economic activity in Spain behind Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.

History

Main article: History of Málaga

La malagueña (1919) by Julio Romero de Torres

The Phoenicians from Tyre founded the city as Malaka about 770 BC. The name Malaka or mlk is probably derived from the Phoenician word for "salt" because fish was salted near the harbour. (Cf. "salt" in other Semitic languages, e.g. Hebrew מלח mélaḥ or Arabic ملح malaḥ) (Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery).

After a period of Carthaginian rule, Malaka became part of the Roman Empire. In its Roman stage, the city (Latin name, Malaca) showed a remarkable degree of development. Transformed into a confederated city, it was under a special law, the Lex Flavia Malacitana. A Roman theatre was built at this time.[3] After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it was ruled first by the Visigoths and then by the Byzantine Empire (550-621) (Sony VGN-NR11S Battery).

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 (Arabic مالقة). From 1025 it was the capital of the autonomous Taifa of Málaga, until its conquest by the Taifa of Granada in 1057(Sony VGN-CR11Z Battery).

The traveller Ibn Battuta, who passed through around 1325, characterised it as "one of the largest and most beautiful towns of Andalusia [uniting] the conveniences of both sea and land, and is abundantly supplied with foodstuffs and fruits". He praised its grapes, figs, and almonds; "its ruby-coloured Murcian pomegranates have no equal in the world." Another exported product was its "excellent gilded pottery"(Sony VGN-CR11S Battery). The town's mosque was large and beautiful, with "exceptionally tall orange trees" in its courtyard.[4]

Málaga in 1572

Málaga was one of the Iberian cities where Muslim rule persisted the longest, having been part of the Emirate of Granada. While most other parts of the peninsula had already succumbed to the reconquista, the medieval Christian Spanish struggled to drive the Muslims out(Sony VGN-CR11M Battery). Málaga was conquered by Christian forces on 18 August 1487,[5] The Muslim inhabitants resisted assaults and artillery bombardments before hunger forced them to surrender, virtually the entire population was sold into slavery or given as "gifts" to other Christian rulers.[6] five years before the fall of Granada(Sony VGN-CR11E Battery).

On 24 August 1704 the indecisive Battle of Malaga, the largest naval battle in the War of the Spanish Succession, took place in the sea south of Málaga.

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(Sony VGN-CR21E Battery).

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. (Sony VGN-CR21S Battery)After the Battle of Málaga and the Francoist takeover in February 1937, over seven thousand people were killed.[8] The city also suffered shelling later by Spanish Republican naval units. The well-known British journalist and writer Arthur Koestler was captured by the Nationalist forces on their entry into Málaga, which formed the material for his book Spanish Testament. The first chapters of Spanish Testament include an eye-witness account of the 1937(Sony VGN-CR21Z Battery) fall of Málaga to Francisco Franco's armies during the Spanish Civil War.

After the war, Málaga and Koestler's old haunts of Torremolinos and the rest of the Costa del Sol enjoyed the highest growth of the tourism sector in Spain.

The Roman Theater

Málaga is located in southern Spain, on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) on the northern side of the Mediterranean Sea. It lies about 100 km east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km east of Tarifa (the southernmost point of continental Europe) and about 130 km on north of Africa. Lies on a similar latitude (36°N) as Algiers in Algeria(Sony VGN-CR31S Battery), Tunis in Tunisia, Aleppo in Syria, Mosul in Iraq, Tehran in Iran, Kunduz in Afghanistan and Fresno, California in the United States.

[edit]Metropolitan area

Málaga, together with the following adjacent towns and municipalities: Rincón de la Victoria, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Alhaurín de la Torre, Mijas, Marbella and San Pedro Alcántara form the urban area with a population of 1,066,532 on 827.33 km² (density 1,289 hab / km²) – 2012 data(Sony VGN-CR31E Battery). The urban area stretches mostly along a narrow strip of coastline. The Málaga metropolitan area includes additional municipalities located mostly in the mountains area north of the coast and also some on the coast: Cártama, Pizarra, Coín, Monda, Ojén, Alhaurín el Grande and Estepona on west; Casabermeja on north; Totalán, Algarrobo, Torrox and Vélez-Málaga eastward from Málaga(Sony VGN-CR31Z Battery).

Map of Málaga province, centered Málaga urban area (Málaga, Rincón de la Victoria, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Marbella – density >1000/km² and Mijas, Alhaurín de la Torre)

Municipalities of the metropolitan area are connected by the road network (including motorways) with the urban area and Málaga city (the urban area can be reached by car from the farthest reaches in 20 minutes and Málaga city in 45 minutes) (Sony VGN-CR41Z Battery). In some usages the metropolitan area includes other municipalities to which Málaga's public transportation network extends, at least since the establishment of the Consorcio de Transporte Metropolitano del Área de Málaga (en: Consortium of Transportation of Málaga Metropolitan Area). Together about 1.3 million (max. to 1.5 million) people live in the Málaga metropolitan area and the number grows every year as all the municipalities and cities of the area record an annual increase in population(Sony VGN-CR41S Battery).

The climate is Subtropical–Mediterranean (Köppen climate classification: Csa)[9] with very mild winters and warm to hot summers. Málaga enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of about 300 days of sunshine and only about 50 days with precipitation annually. Its coastal location with winds blowing from the Mediterranean Sea make the heat manageable during the summer. (Sony VGN-CR41E Battery)

Málaga experiences the warmest winters of any European city with a population over 500,000 and over 100,000 jointly with two other cities in Spain: Almería and Alicante. The average temperature during the day in the period December through February is 17–18 °C (63–64 °F). During the winter, the Málaga Mountains (Montes de Málaga) block out the cold weather from the north. (Sony VGN-CR42Z Battery) Generally, the summer season lasts about eight months, from April to November, although in the remaining four months temperatures sometimes reach around 20 °C (68 °F). Its average annual temperature is 23 °C (73 °F) during the day (one of the highest in Europe) and 13 °C (55 °F) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature ranges from 12 to 20 °C (54 to 68 °F) during the day(Sony VGN-CR42S Battery), 4 to 13 °C (39 to 55 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 15–16 °C (59–61 °F). In the warmest month, August, the temperature ranges from 26 to 35 °C (79 to 95 °F) during the day, above 20 °C (68 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 23 °C (73 °F).

Large fluctuations in temperature are rare. The highest temperature ever recorded during the day in the city centre is 43.3 °C (109.9 °F) on 13 August 1881. In the month of August 1881(Sony VGN-CR42E Battery), the average reported daytime maximum temperature was a record 34.8 °C (94.6 °F). The coldest temperature ever recorded was −0.9 °C (30.4 °F) on the night (the same as tropical Miami) of 19 January 1891. The highest wind speed ever recorded was on 16

July 1980, measuring 119 km/h (73.94 mph). Málaga city has once recorded snow in the 20th century, on February the 2nd, 1954. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/L Battery)

Annual average relative humidity is 66%, ranging from 59% in June to 73% in December.[12] Yearly sunshine hours is between 2,800 and 3,000 per year, from 5–6 hours of sunshine / day in December to average 11 hours of sunshine / day in July. This is one of the highest results in Europe and almost double more that of cities in the northern half of Europe (for comparison: London – 1,461, Warsaw – 1,571, Paris – 1,630) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/P Battery). According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, 2007 saw 3,059 hours of sunshine.[15] Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. Málaga is one of the few cities in Europe which are "green" all year round.

Main sights

View of the old Alcazaba

The Cathedral of the Encarnation

The old historic center of Málaga reaches the harbour to the south and is surrounded by mountains to the north, the Montes de Málaga (part of Baetic Cordillera), lying in the southern base of the Axarquía hills, and two rivers(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/W Battery), the Guadalmedina – the historic center is located on its left bank – and the Guadalhorce, which flows west of the city into the Mediterranean.

The oldest architectural remains in the city are the walls of the Phoenician city, which are visible in the basement of the Picasso Museum.

The Roman theater of Málaga, which dates from the 1st century BC, was fortuitously rediscovered in 1951(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11Z/R Battery).

The Moors left posterity the dominating presence of the Castle of Gibralfaro, which is connected to the Alcazaba, the lower fortress and royal residence. Both were built during the Taifa period (11th century) and extended during the Nasrid period (13th and 14th centuries). The Alcazaba stands on a hill within the city. Originally, it defended the city from the incursions of pirates(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/B Battery). Later, in the mid-11th century, it was completely rebuilt by the Hammudid dynasty. Occupying the eastern hillside that rises from the sea and overlooks the city, the Alcazaba was surrounded by palms and pine trees.

La Concepción, botanical and historical garden

Like many of the military fortifications that were constructed in Islamic Spain, the Alcazaba of Málaga featured a quadrangular plan(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/L Battery). It was protected by an outer and inner wall, both supported by rectangular towers, between which a covered walkway led up the slope to the Gibralfaro (this was the only exchange between the two sites). Due to its rough and awkward hillside topography, corridors throughout the site provided a means of communications for administrative and defensive operations, also affording privacy to the palatial residential quarters(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/P Battery).

The entrance of the complex featured a grand tower that led into a sophisticated double bent entrance. After passing through several gates, open yards with beautiful gardens of pine and eucalyptus trees, and the inner wall through the Puerta de Granada, one finds the 11th and 14th century Governor's palace(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/R Battery). It was organized around a central rectangular courtyard with a triple-arched gateway and some of the rooms have been preserved to this day. An open 11th century mirador (belvedere) to the south of this area affords views of the gardens and sea below. Measuring 2.5 square meters, this small structure highlighted scalloped, five-lobed arches. To the north of this area were a waterwheel and a Cyclopean well (penetrating forty meters below ground) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/W Battery), a hammam, workshops and the monumental Puerta de la Torre del Homenaje, the northernmost point of the inner walls. Directly beyond was the passage to the Gibralfaro above.

The Church of Santiago (Saint James) is an example of Gothic vernacular Mudéjar, the hybrid style that evolved after the Reconquista incorporating elements from both Christian and Islamic tradition. Also from the period is the Iglesia del Sagrario(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G Battery), which was built on the site of the old mosque immediately after the city fell to Christian troops. It boasts a richly ornamented portal in the Isabeline-Gothic style, unique in the city.

The Cathedral and the Episcopal Palace were planned with Renaissance architectural ideals but there was a shortfall of building funds and they were finished in Baroque style.

Trade Fair and Congress in Málaga (Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/B Battery)

Málaga is the fourth-ranking city in economic activity in Spain behind Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.[2]

The most important business sectors in Málaga are tourism, construction and technology services, but other sectors such as transportation and logistics are beginning to expand. The Andalusia Technology Park (PTA) (In Spanish, "Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía"), located in Málaga, has enjoyed significant growth since its inauguration in 1992 by the King of Spain(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/L Battery). As of 2010, this high-tech, science and industrial park is home to 509 companies and employs over 14,500 people.

In line with the city's strategic plan, the campaign "Málaga: Open for Business" is directed towards the international promotion of the city on all levels but fundamentally on a business level. The campaign places a special emphasis on new technologies as well as innovation and research in order to promote the city as a reference and focal point for many global business initiatives and projects. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/W Battery)

Málaga is a city of commerce and tourism has been a growing source of revenue, driven by the presence of a major airport, the improvement of communications, and new infrastructure such as the AVE and the maritime station, and new cultural facilities such as the Picasso Museum, the Contemporary Art Center and Trade Fair and Congress, which have drawn more tourists. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/P Battery)

The city hosts the International Association of Science and Technology Parks (IASP) (Asociación Internacional de Parques Tecnológicos), and a group of IT company executives and business leaders has launched an information sector initiative, Málaga Valley e-27, which seeks to make Málaga the Silicon Valley of Europe. Málaga has had strong growth in new technology industries(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/L Battery), mainly located in the Technological Park of Andalusia, and in the construction sector. The city is home to the largest bank in Andalusia, Unicaja, and such local companies as Mayoral, Charanga, Sando, Vera, Ubago, Isofoton, Tedial, Novasoft, Grupo Vértice and Almeida viajes, and other multinationals such as Fujitsu Spain, Pernod Ricard Spain, Accenture, Epcos, Oracle Corporation, Huawei and San Miguel(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/P Battery).

Culture

Holy week in Málaga

Annual cultural events

The Holy Week celebration, the August Málaga Fair (Feria de Málaga) and the Málaga Film Festival are the three major events held in the city.

The Holy Week of Málaga has been observed for some five centuries. Processions start on Palm Sunday and continue until Easter Sunday. Images depicting scenes from the Passion are displayed on huge ornate tronos (floats or thrones), some weighing more than 5,000 kilos and carried by more than 250 members of the fraternity of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/R Battery). These tronos highlight the processions that go through the streets led by penitents dressed in long purple robes, often with pointed hats, followed by women in black carrying candles. Drums and trumpets play music and occasionally someone spontaneously sings a mournful saeta dedicated to the floats as they make their way slowly round the streets(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13T/W Battery).

August Málaga Fair

Some Holy Week tronos are so huge that they must be housed in places outside the churches, as they are taller than the entrance doors. There are also military parades of soldiers playing processional band marches or singing their anthems along the route.

During the celebration of the Feria de Málaga in August, the streets are transformed into traditional symbols of Spanish culture and history(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21/B Battery), with sweet wine, tapas, and live flamenco shows. The day events consist of dancing, live music (like Flamenco or Verdiales, traditional music from Málaga) and bullfights at La Malagueta, while the night fair is moved to the Recinto Ferial, consisting of restaurants, clubs, and an entire fair ground with rides and games(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/L Battery).

The Málaga Film Festival (Festival de Málaga Cine Español (FMCE)) is the most important festival dedicated exclusively to cinema made in Spain. It is held annually during a week in April.

Religion

Most of the population of Málaga professes Roman Catholicism as its religion. Islam is represented by a growing number of immigrants and a newly-constructed mosque(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/P Battery).

The Evangelicals also have a presence in Málaga, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is growing. The Jewish Community in Málaga is represented by its synagogue and the Jewish Association.

La Rosaleda stadium. Málaga CF vs Real Madrid C.F. in October, 2010

Málaga is home to three major professional sports teams. These include:

Málaga CF – football club plays in Primera División. Honours: UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2002, UEFA Cup: 2003 (Quarter-finals) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR21E/W Battery).

CB Málaga – basketball club plays in SuperLiga ACB. Honours: Spanish Championship: 2006, runner-up: 1995, 2002; Spanish Cup: 2005, runner-up: 2009; Spanish Super-Cup: runner-up: 2006; Korać Cup: 2001, runner-up: 2000; Euroleague: third place: 2007

Club Atlético Málaga – women's football club plays in Superliga Femenina, Honours: Spain Cup: 1998, runner-up: 1997; Spain Supercup: 1999(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/L Battery)

The city has four large sports facilities:

Estadio La Rosaleda – football stadium, with a capacity of 28,963. One of the arenas of Primera División (for Málaga CF) and 1982 FIFA World Cup. Final of UEFA Intertoto Cup 2002.

Jose Maria Martin Carpena Arena – sports arena, with a capacity of max 14,000. It is home of CB Málaga and arena of Spanish Cup 2001, 2007; Spanish Super-Cup 2004, 2006; NBA Europe Live Tour 2007(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/P Battery);

Estadio de Atletismo Ciudad de Málaga – athletics stadium with a capacity of 7,500. Place where the European Cup 2006 was celebrated; 2006 Vuelta a España; Spain Athletics Championships 2005 and 2011;

Centro Acuático de Málaga (Málaga Aquatic Center) – water arena, with a capacity of 17,000. Arena of European Water Polo Championship 2008(Sony Vaio VGN-CR21S/W Battery).

In city and neighbourhood, you can engage in many sports, for example: surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, swimming, diving, skydiving, paragliding, running, cycling, rowing, tennis and golf.

Strachan Street in downtown

The city is an important tourist destination, known as "the capital of the Costa del Sol". Tourists usually visit the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and the Museo Picasso Málaga(Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/B Battery), 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 (a Parador), 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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/P Battery), 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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/R Battery).

Other events

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(Sony Vaio VGN-CR23/L Battery).

City view from the port

The city is served by Málaga Costa Del Sol Airport, one of the first in Spain and the oldest still in operation. In 2008, it handled 12,813,472 passengers,[25] making it the fourth busiest in Spain. It is the international airport of Andalusia accounting for 85 percent of its international traffic. The airport, connected to the Costa del Sol(Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S battery), has a daily link with twenty cities in Spain and over a hundred cities in Europe (mainly in United Kingdom, Central Europe and the Nordic countries but also the main cities of Eastern Europe: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Budapest, Sofia, Warsaw, Riga or Bucharest), North Africa, Middle East (Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait) and North America (New York, Toronto and Montreal) (Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF battery).

Seaport

The Port of Málaga is the city's seaport, operating continuously at least since 600 BC. The port is one of the busiest ports on the Mediterranean Sea, with a trade volume of over 428,623 TEU's and 642,529 passenger in 2008.

High speed trains AVE S-112 nicknamed "Pato" ("Duck") in Málaga-Maria Zambrano Station.

High-speed train

See also: Córdoba-Málaga high-speed rail line(Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF battery)

The Málaga-María Zambrano Train Station is served by the AVE high-speed rail system, and is operated by the Spanish formerly state-owned rail company Renfe. Málaga is on the AVE experience, a net created with Málaga next to 18 major cities of Spain with high-speed rail.

Roads and highways

The A45 road leads north to Antequera and Córdoba. The Autovía A-7 parallels the N-340 road, both leading to Cadiz to the west through the Costa del Sol Occidental and Barcelona to the east through the Costa del Sol Oriental(Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W battery).

Urban Bus

Empresa Malagueña de Transportes´buses are the main form of transport around the city. Málaga's bus station is connected with the city by the bus line number 4, although it is only ten minutes walk to the Alameda from there.

Metropolitan Bus

Málaga Metropolitan Transport Consortium´s (Consorcio de Tranpsporte Metropolitano del Área de Málaga) buses are the main form of transport around the city of Málaga and the villages of the Metropolitan Area(Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W battery).

 

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