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Things To Do on Mondays
Many museums in Malaga are closed on Mondays, but there are other things to do. Following are some suggestions:
1. Malaga Cathedral
In 1487 the Catholic Kings dedicated the Cathedral of Malaga in a building that was a mosque. In 1528 construction was started on the present Cathedral and it became known as the Cathedral of the Encarnacion, because it was dedicated to the Virgen de la Encarnacion. The architect was Diego de Siloe, and the style was to be late Gothic. The building was partly destroyed by an earthquake in 1680. Building was resumed in 1719 and construction was officially stopped in 1783, although the right tower was not finished, for lack of money. The Cathedral is called “La Manguita” (one armed woman) because the right tower is missing.
Bernardo de Galvez was a brave soldier from Macharaviaya, who became the governor of Louisiana, before the territory became French. During the American War of Independence, Galvez convinced the Spanish King Carlos III to divert the money that was going to be spent to complete the second tower of the Cathedral to help the Americans against the British. The money was spent for arms, food, medicine, and blankets. They did not send any men because they wanted the help to the Americans to be hidden from the British. This information is a result of the investigations of Marion Reder, a lady professor at the University of Malaga, who teaches Modern and Contemporary History.
Because construction took so long with many different architects, the Cathedral has three different architectural styles. The interior is Gothic, the head of the church and naves are Renaissance, and the entrance and tower are Baroque. The church is 115 meters long. The choir has stalls with carved wooden statues of saints and other figures, which number 42. These were carved by Pedro de Mena, one of Spain‘s best wood carvers of his time.
Behind the choir is a marble statue of a Pieta, done by the Pissani Brothers in Italy in 1803. There are two sculptures in wood that have been polychromed to look like marble, done by Salvador Gutierrez de Leon in 1838. They represent St. Mary Magdalene and St. John the Baptist.
There is a chapel, Capilla del Rosario, there is a statue of the Virgin with Saints done by Alonso Cano. There is another chapel, Capilla de los Reyes, that has a statue depicting the kneeling figures of the Catholic Kings, done by Pedro de Mena. There is also a statuette of the Virgin that the Catholic Kings always took with them on their crusades. The main chapel has a modern altar with scenes from the Passion.
One of the important chapels is the Chapel of Santa Barbara. The retable was done by the artist Nicolas Tiller in 1524 and is in the Gothic style. It shows the Crucifixion, Santa Apolonia, Santa Catalina, San Roque, Santa Ana with the Virgin and Child, Fathers of the Church, and the Four Evangelists. There are small paintings of the Annunciation, San Francisco, Santo Domingo, Santo Tome, San Damian, San ciriaco, and Santa Paula. This chapel also has a painting of the Assumption by Juan Niño de Guevara. There is a painting of the Ascension by the same artist.
The ceiling is very unusual because it has 23 cupolas, the only church in Spain with this feature. These cupolas have very beautiful designs of keys. Outside, the cupolas can be seen extending on the roof of the cathedral. The Cathedral has two organs from the 18th century and these have over 4,000 pipes and are still in good working condition. The church also has a fabulous domed ceiling.
The church has a museum which contains many treasures that have been donated, such as gold and silverware used in the ceremonies, as well as vestments used by the priests, and a lot of artwork.
Today some citizens of Malaga want to finish the construction of the second tower for aesthetic reasons, but there is plenty of inertia and others want to leave the unfinished tower as it is.
Beside the Cathedral there is a smaller church called the Iglesia del Sagrario. This was constructed in the 15th century on a site of a mosque. The portal has the Isabeline Gothic style and this is the only part of the original building, which was rebuilt in 1714.
2. Shop on Calle Larios and Calle Nueva.
3. Shop at El Corte Ingles.
4. Take a walk in the park. Beside the Town Hall is the new Rose Garden. Stop to smell the roses and hear the whispering sound of all of the small fountains. You can continue your walk to the Malagueta Beach.
5. Go to the Antigua Casa de Guardia at the Alameda Principal, 18, and try the sweet wines of Malaga, from 0.80 to 1.10 euro a glass. There are very many wines to choose from.
6. Atarazanas Market
Where the Atarazanas Market is today, there used to be a naval workshop where boats could dock for repairs. There were seven arches that date back to the Nazari period in the 14th century. In the early 19th century the building was almost in ruins and in 1868 the local government decided to tear down the building, except for the biggest arch. The city decided to build a public market in its place and incorporate the arch as the entrance. The architect of the market was Joaquin de Rucoba, who finished the project in 1879. The market was declared a Historic-artistic Monument in 1979. At the end of the 19th century, it was considered as progress the construction of public markets, and the ones in Madrid and Barcelona were constructed around the same time period.
The style of the market is Neo-Arab. The arch is a slightly pointed horseshoe arch made of white marble. It was actually moved a little to put it in the middle of the facade of the market. The metal structure of the market was made by the Perez Hermanos company of Seville.
In 1908 there was a reconstruction of part of the market that was carried out by the architect Fernando Guerrero Strachan. That was when the large stained glass window at the back of the building was put in. This stained glass shows various monuments of the city, such as the Cathedral, the Gibralfaro mountain, the entrance of the Sagrario Chapel, and the Fountain of the Three Graces.
The last reconstruction started in 2008 and was finished in 2010. A new roof of tile was put in, with the green and brown colors of the original building. The stained glass window at the back was completely disassembled and restored. There are 260 market stalls in the building.
7. Castle of Gibralfaro
The Arab word Yabal means hill and the Greek word Faruh means lighthouse. The name Gibralfaro means lighthouse hill. The hill that overlooks Malaga has a castle with the name of Gibralfaro. In 1296 Malaga belonged to the Nazari Dynasty of Granada. Yusuf I reigned between 1333 and 1354 and he was the one who had the Castle of Gibralfaro built. The castle was used as a military base until 1925.
There is a walled passageway that connects the Alcazaba with the Gibralfaro Castle. This is called the coracha terrestre. The castle has deteriorated over the years and today one finds only the walls. There is a large tower called the Torre Blanca. There is also the Airon Well that is 40 meters deep and is carved out of the rock. Other things found in the castle are several tanks to store the water from the well, two bread ovens and the Interpretation Center in the former gunpowder arsenal. This little museum shows arms, uniforms and objects used in everyday life, and information about how the castle was used over the ages. The castle was used for military uses for 483 years.
The castle has a wonderful view of the city of Malaga below. To go there by bus, take the No. 35 bus that leaves from the park (3rd stop from the Plaza de la Marina) and the Alameda Principal.
Hours for Bus No. 35 (from the Alameda Principal):
Monday to Sunday, and holidays: 11:00 to 19:00 H.
Last bus from Gibralfaro to downtown leaves at 19:20 H.
Castle Opening Hours (Everyday): 9:00 - 18:00 h.
Price: 1,95 euros.
8. Fundacion Picasso - Casa Natal Museum
The Picasso Casa Natal Museum is a museum located in the building where Pablo Picasso was born, and is located at the Plaza de la Merced, at one of the corners of the square. This museum was opened in 1988 and is owned by the City of Malaga. The museum owns 3500 works of art by 200 artists, one of them of course being Picasso.
Among art done by Picasso are sketches, engravings, graphic work, and ceramics. Many of these items were donated by Christine Picasso, his daughter-in-law (widow of Paul), and Marina Picasso, Picasso’s granddaughter and Paul’s daughter. Many of the artists were contemporaries of Picasso. Other items were acquired by the City of Malaga and the Fundacion Picasso.
From Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 20:00. Closed on Sunday afternoon and bank holidays.
9. Popular Arts Museum
(Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares)
Pasillo de Santa Isabel, 10
Tel: (+34) 952-217-137
Monday to Saturday: 10:00-13:30 H
Afternoons, Monday to Friday: Winter: 16:00-19:00 H, Summer: 17:00-20:00 H
The Popular Arts Museum is located in a building that Franciscan monks of the Convent de la Victoria constructed in 1632, so the building is called Meson de la Victoria. There is a central patio with rooms around it, typical of houses of the 17th century. The museum is an ethnographic museum that explains the traditions of Malaga in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. There are many exhibits that show tools used in iron making, winemaking, fishing and baking, among other things. There is a marvelous collection of clay figures showing people of many trades. There are advertising posters and labels of raisin boxes that show beautiful women in native dress.
The most interesting are two big paintings of the beautiful Malagueña Anita Delgado. She was a young and poor girl who went to Madrid and started working as a dancer in a club there. The Maharaja of Kapurtala fell in love with her and asked for her hand in marriage. She was then sent to Paris to get the manners needed to be a princess. The Maharaja then married her and brought her to India. To her surprise, he already had three other wives. So Anita tried as best as she could to adjust to court life, with most of the people there against her. She later had a boy with the Maharaja. Later on she asked for a divorce from him and came back to Paris and Madrid to live the rest of her life. She donated a coat to the Virgin de la Victoria, which is studded with precious stones. This is now found in the museum of that church. The biography of Anita Delgado is found in two recent best sellers and a famous Spanish actress has bought the movie rights because she wants to make the movie and act the part of Anita Delgado.
10. Wine Museum of Malaga
Plaza de los Viñeros, 1
Admission: 5€. This includes a wine tasting of two wines.
12:00 a.m. to 14:30, 16:30 to 19:30H.
Closed Sundays, Jan. 1 and 6, December 24, 25, and 31.
The new Wine Museum of Malaga is located in the Palacio de las Biedmas, an 18th century building that has been completely remodeled in the interior, but maintains its original facade. There is a guided visit every half hour from the museum's opening time, and this is given by multilingual guides, who are very friendly and informative. Every room has tablets in different languages that explain the exhibits in the room.
The ground floor has more than 400 lithographs of posters and labels from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, some of which are really works of art and very beautiful. There are also lithographs that were used on raisin boxes.
The first floor has a presentation about the history of wine in Malaga. The Phoenicians started the wine industry in Malaga about 3000 years ago when they landed in Malaga. After them came the Greeks and the Romans, who maintained the wine industry. Later came the Moors, who also had a wine industry. To circumvent their law of avoiding alcohol, they said the wine was going to be used for medicinal purposes. In the 18th century the wines of Malaga started winning prizes in Europe. The czars of Russia developed a taste for them and allowed their importation to Russia without having to pay taxes.
There is an explanation of how wine is grown in the five regions of Malaga. There are several different grapes that are now used and these are explained. The museum also shows several old wine presses and explains the current process of aging the wines and achieving a uniformity in the wine.
After the guided tour there is a wine tasting of two wines, one a dry wine and the other a sweet wine. There are about 120 different wines that are shown in the wine tasting room and one can buy them there at prices that are below retail. This museum is an enjoyable place to understand the wines of Malaga and to try them.
11. Museo Interactivo de la Musica - Malaga (MIMMA)
Calle Beatas, 15.
Monday to Friday: 10:00 to 14:00, and 16:00 to 20:00 H.
Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: 11:00 to 15:00, and 16:30 to 20:30 H.
The Interactive Museum of Music is a little known museum in Malaga, perhaps because of its location. However it merits attention because it is a very interesting museum, and it will please people of all ages, but is fascinating for young people because it is interactive.
The museum holds a collection of about 400 musical instruments, from many different countries, and from many different ages. The owner of this very large musical instrument collection is Miguel Angel Piedrola Orta. He has more than 1000 instruments in his collection, but only about 400 are displayed in this museum for lack of space. His collection is one of the largest in Europe.
Music has been around since prehistoric times and music was used to display to others what one felt, what one's mood was. It was used to transmit feelings, moods, and ideas to others. Music was used to communicate with others.
There are many displays that have a red triangle on them and this indicates that the display is interactive. Many show musical instruments that can be touched and played. Others have videos that can be watched and feature people playing the wide variety of musical instruments. One interesting display features flamenco and the music of Andalusia. An interesting explanation is that of classical music, how it started in Europe. The German composers such as Beethoven were the first to play it. Later other European countries had their composers create music that was representative of their own countries, such as Falla composed music for the Spanish.
12. Go on a treasure hunting city tour in Málaga
Go on an exiting city tour treasure hunt and discover Málaga as a couple, travelling group, family with kids the most fun way!