1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Trip Start Oct 04, 2010
23Trip End Nov 15, 2010
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Where I stayed
Malaga Fish Market
A little history
One of Malaga's architectural gems, the market is easily missed on a busy weekday morning. The streets leading to and from the building bustle and beep with traffic, tourists, workers and shoppers and your eyes will probably stay fixed at street level
The main entrance, an imposing horseshoe archway in off-white marble, is in fact the only remaining part of what was once a grand seven-arched shipyard - ataranzas in Arabic and old Castellano. A shipyard? In the middle of the city? Amazingly, even as late as the 18th century the sea reached right up to the present-day market, and fishermen sat alongside the south-facing wall of the building and cast their lines into the Malageñan waters.
From shipyard to market, Ataranzas underwent many transformations. Following the fall of the city to the Catholics in 1487, a convent was set up there, but apparently the sound of the waves distracted the faithful from their prayers. More appropriately perhaps, the building was then turned into a huge military fort for storing weapons. Later, it became a hospital and even housed a medical school.
Sadly, by the 19th century the original structure had largely fallen into disrepair and in 1868 the revolutionary government of the time ordered the remaining ruins to be pulled down to make way for a modern and spacious market. Thanks to the efforts of the architect Joaquin Rucoba, the last horseshoe arch was saved. Rucoba rebuilt this, placing it at the centre of the southern façade, and then completed the building in Arabic style, with slatted, arched windows and panels, but using the most modern of 19th century building materials: iron.