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Málaga in the Muslim era


Málaga in the Muslim era

Málaga musulmana

Conquest and occupation

In 711, feudalisation that was currently in process was interrupted by the Muslim conquest. Newcomers settled and much of the indigenous population took refuge in the hills of what is now the Parque Natural Montes de Málaga (Natural Park Montes de Málaga).

Eight centuries of history in which Málaga belonged to the Islamic world started after the defeat of King Roderic at the hands of Tariq Ibn Ziyad. This led society to evolve differently from the rest of Europe where the feudal system was established at this time.

Architecture, inwardly oriented houses without façades, and crafts, trade and agriculture to supply urban centres are some of the characteristic features of this period.

The Islamisation process that occurred during the 8th and 9th centuries driven by the new dynasty of the Umayyads, faced resistance from the tribal groups as well as the heirs of the Visigothic aristocracy.

The most important rebellion against the Umayyad state took place in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. It was led by Omar ben Hafsún and his sons from their base in the province of Málaga, specifically Bobastro. This revolt marked the last attempt by Al-Andalus to keep feudal privileges for the aristocracy of Hispano-Gothic origin. The rebellion was doomed to failure because it lacked a social base to support it when the whole population was being converted to Islam.

Málaga under the Caliphate of Córdoba

The fall of Bobastro imposed the Islamic system, the proliferation of rural farmhouses and increased irrigation.

The caliphate was very prosperous until 976 in which al-Hakam II died and his young son ascended to the throne while being under age. The ensuing political crisis lead to the splitting of the Taifa kingdoms. There were several caliphs.

It is in this period that the Alcazaba of Málaga, one of the city's most important and finely conserved monuments, was constructed.

The integration of successive Berber Almoravid and Almohad empires, from the late 11th century until well into the 13th century, saw the definitive establishment of the land and the city of Málaga in the western Mediterranean arena.