This is one of the oldest examples of fortification remains known to man. Elements discovered here have led experts to conclude that the original construction may have been built by the Phoenicians and subsequently modified by other civilisations.
What is certain is that it was occupied by the Arabs and, later, the Christians, serving in the case of the latter as a “prison-cum-bishopric for restless Moorish converts”.
According to Diego Vázquez Otero, many believe that these might be the remains of ancient Odyscia, scene of the incredible feats performed by Ulysses, King of Itaca, during one of his journeys through the area.
The castle owes its name to Queen Zalia, who was said to have descended daily to the river to bathe.
One Christian legend has it that the Bishop of Málaga, Salia Patricio, came to the village to convert its people but was unable to fulfil his mission. The story goes that as a punishment, the Lord caused the ground to open up and snakes to emerge, biting the inhabitants of Salia by day. In the end, the people were forced to flee the village, which has lain abandoned to this day.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Castillos y paisajes malagueños by Diego Vázquez Otero