Málaga in the Baroque Period
From splendour to decline (1570-1700)
The population of Málaga in the 16th and 17th centuries was reduced by the expulsion of the Moriscos from the Kingdom of Granada, the conscription of soldiers, epidemics and flooding by the river Guadalmedina.
The Port of Málaga became the engine of the production system, making Málaga an important commercial hub. Wine and raisins were leading exports from Málaga and the city's main source of income. In the textile industry, silk, closely linked to the Moriscos, was very important.
Málaga's strategic location made the city and its coast a pawn on the political chessboard of the Habsbergs, who turned the capital into a veritable arsenal. The municipality, a basic component of government, suffered from the general corruption of the time with the sale of public offices, and above all, because of its submission to the local oligarchies that usurped political power.
The Presence of the Church in Málaga
At this time, the Church in Málaga had almost completed its network of parishes and religious and charitable organisations in the diocese.
The new popular religiousness became evident through the expansion of the Passion fraternities, brotherhoods and sisterhoods created around the main temples. This was the seed of what is today the great Málaga Holy Week (i.e. at Easter).
In 1572, the Jesuits founded their school in Málaga, aimed at educating the city's youth. Numerous charitable religious foundations such as the Convent of Santa Clara (1505), the College of the Augustinians (1575) and the convent of the Carmelitas Descalzas (Carmelites) (1585) were created.
The Royal Hospital of St. Lazarus (1491), the convent of the Trinitarians (1491) and Santo Domingo (1494) and other buildings were built outside the city.