Architectural Jewels of Malaga (Self Guided), Malaga

Malaga is a blooming city with rich architecture that has been witness to the fall and rise of numerous civilizations. Time had a great impact upon architectural styles, thus contributing to the uniqueness of the city. If you want to know more about the city’s architectural jewels, take the following tour as your guide to learning and discovering Malaga.
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Architectural Jewels of Malaga Map

Guide Name: Architectural Jewels of Malaga
Guide Location: Spain » Malaga (See other walking tours in Malaga)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: HelenF
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Palacio Episcopal de Málaga
  • Teatro Romano
  • Museo de Málaga
  • Alcazaba de Málaga
  • Rectorado de la Universidad de Málaga
  • Sede del Banco de España en Málaga
  • Ayuntamiento de Málaga
  • Casas de Félix Sáenz
  • Palacio de la Tinta
  • Castillo de Gibralfaro
Palacio Episcopal de Málaga

1) Palacio Episcopal de Málaga

Two palaces make up the Palacio Episcopal de Malaga that stands on the Plaza de Obispo. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Malaga. There are many intricately decorated buildings within the complex making the entire structure a work of art. It is regarded as the finest example of baroque architecture in Andalusia.

The first palace in the complex was built in the 16th century. The second was constructed in the 18th century by Bishop Lasso de Castilla. Architects Antonio Ramos and Jose Martin de Aldehuela designed the building including the ornate Baroque marble façade in colors of pink, white and grey. There is an interior covered patio leading to a grand staircase. On the side, the Bishop’s private patio has 18th century tile work and small tiled fountains. On the third floor is a vaulted ledge that has a beautiful alabaster sculpture of the Virgen de las Angustias by Fernando Ortiz and Manuel Augustin Valero.

The Palacio Episcopal today houses the offices of the Bishop on the top floor. The lower floors are used by the Government of Andalusia for large art exhibitions. The spaces within the building are also used for meetings and other public purposes. There is also a Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art within the complex.
Teatro Romano

2) Teatro Romano (must see)

The Teatro Romano (or Roman Theater) was discovered while laying the gardens of the Palace archive and Libraries of Malaga. The theater is still in the process of restoration and preservation by archaeologists.

The theater dates back to the 1st century and was constructed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. At the time, Spain formed the Roman province of Hispania. The theater was used till the 3rd century. The remains were found in 1951 and the building in the location was demolished to facilitate excavation.

The radius of the semicircular space to seat spectators is 31 meters and it is 16 meters high. It is divided by aisles. There is also a 15-meter semicircular space where the orchestra performed. Excavation is still in progress and signs of a larger Roman site are slowly visible. The present theater is a reproduction, although some of the old walls are still preserved. The Moors used the stones from the original structure to build the Alcazaba Fortress.

There is a modern interpretation center inaugurated in 2010 where an audio-visual presentation of Roman history and details of the objects found during the excavation are related for the benefit of visitors. The Teatro Romano is located just below the Alcazaba. Visitors can get a full view of the Roman Theater from the top of the fortress.

Why You Should Visit:
Quite simply an impressive, well excavated and faithfully improved site – such that performances can utilize this venue to the present day.

Quirkily enough, the best views are from the normal public pedestrianized walkways that pass on by this well-placed and well-renovated Roman amphitheater.
You can get into it depending on the depth of experience you require but best photos are obtained outside – do have a look / consider this cheaper, more convenient option.
There's also a related glass pyramid which can likewise be found and more easily viewed from the normal pedestrianized path.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 10am-6pm; Sun: 10am-4pm
Museo de Málaga

3) Museo de Málaga (must see)

Formed in 1973, Museo de Málaga brought together the former Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes (Provincial Museum of Fine Arts), born in 1913, and Museo Arqueológico Provincial (Provincial Archeological Museum), born in 1947. As of 2010, the museum remains institutionally divided into two "sections" corresponding to the older museums. There are slightly over 2,000 pieces in the Fine Arts collection and over 15,000 in the Archeology collection. The museum opened to the public in December 2016, becoming the biggest museum in Andalusia and the 5th in Spain.

Why You Should Visit:
Cool & airy inside, with lots of items on show over 3 floors: paintings, sculptures, models, archeological items, religious items, pots, jewelry, to name but a few!
Many of the other beautiful tourist places in Málaga could learn from this museum because the English translations are excellent, even on the videos.
The venue is a stunning restoration of the former Customs Building and offers more than ample space for everything that goes on inside.
And you can't beat the price – free for EU citizens and €1.50 for others.

Maybe make two visits rather than try to take it all in at once.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 9am-9pm; Sun: 9am-3pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Alcazaba de Málaga

4) Alcazaba de Málaga (must see)

The Alcazaba is a Moorish fortress built by the Arab rulers of Malaga on a hill in the center of the city overlooking the port. Among the Alcazabas in Spain, the Malaga citadel is the best preserved.

The word 'Alcazaba' comes from the Arabic word Al-Quasbah or citadel. The fortress was built in the 11th century during the rule of the Moorish King Badis, the Zirid ruler of Granada. It was once connected to the city ramparts by a third outer wall. Today, only two inner walls remain. The fortress has many defensive towers. The pathway through the Alcazaba has landscaped gardens and fountains. On the eastern side is the ruined Torre de Homenaje or Tribute Tower where Ferdinand and Isabella raised their standard after defeating the Moors in 1487. Inside the second wall is a palace and residences of the Arab rulers and their entourage. The fortress overlooks the ruins of an ancient Roman theater. The stones from the Roman ruins were used to construct the Alcazaba.

All the buildings within the fortress have the distinct Moorish architectural style. The Alcazaba is located at the highest point in Malaga and commands spectacular views of the city, the port, and the Roman amphitheater.

Why You Should Visit:
For anyone who has an interest in history or Spanish culture, the character of this place captures a time gone by and does it in some style.
There's a rather small fee but well worth it, as you're effectively entering a structured castle-like building with traditional and faithfully reconstructed gardens.
There are also sections of museum-esque memorabilia and a lot of seating and shade available for a rest.
The views were amazing and you can walk the entire wall of the fortifications.

Make sure you have some coins or smaller notes as they are incapable of taking card payments.
Be prepared because the walk takes about 45mins to an hour – you should carry water during the warmer months.
For those in need of a cold beverage after all that sightseeing, there is a bar at the top.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-8pm (Apr-Oct); 9am-6pm (Nov-Mar); Free Sundays from 2pm
Closed: 24, 25 and 31 December, 1 January
Rectorado de la Universidad de Málaga

5) Rectorado de la Universidad de Málaga

The Rectory of the University of Malaga is housed in the Old Post Office building in the city. The style of the structure has Moorish elements that came to be known as Neo Mujedar.

The Cassa de Correos or Post office opened its doors in 1923. It was purpose built based on the plan of architect, Teodoro de Anasagasti y Algan. The building is the finest example of Neo Mujedar architecture in Malaga. The layout of the structure is square with rounded corners and cylindrical towers. The brick and stone façade is enhanced by ornamentation using cobalt blue tiles. To add to the Mujedar atmosphere, cobalt blue tiles are used in the interior especially around windows. An inner patio has a glass ceiling. From the patio visitors can see pits where a fish sauce called Garum was produced. Garum was historically exported to Rome, where it was considered a delicacy.

Until 1986, the building served as the main post office of the city. It then became the office of the Rector of the University of Malaga. The Rectorado de la Universidad de Malaga has a large exhibition hall on the first floor where free exhibitions are held by university scholars.
Sede del Banco de España en Málaga

6) Sede del Banco de España en Málaga

The Sede del Banco de España en Málaga is located between City Hall and the Old Post Office House. It was designed by architect José Yárnoz Larrosa and built between 1933 and 1936 in the neoclassical style. It has three floors with an imposing Corinthian order portico. The building’s highlight is the columned portico, which is predominantly created in the historical style but with fascist architectural aesthetics, common during the 1930s. This edifice is seen as a great public building, both ancient and contemporary.
Ayuntamiento de Málaga

7) Ayuntamiento de Málaga (must see)

This baroque style structure is one of the most beautiful government buildings in Spain. The façade and interiors have many beautifully preserved works of art by well known local artists. It is located in an elegantly landscaped garden near the Alcazaba fortress.

Two local architects, Fernando Guerrero Strachan and Manuel Rivera Vera, designed the Ayuntamiento de Málaga. Intended for housing the offices of the local government, this Neo-Baroque structure was completed in 1919. The building has three floors and a clock tower. The façade is covered with sculptures of men, garlands of fruits and vegetables created by artist Diego Garcia Carreras. The interior is full of artistic and architectural treasures including the sculpture of a woman who represents the city surrounded by figures representing architecture, commerce, fishing and the sea. The first floor has stained glass windows that represent the history of Málaga. The second floor has the offices of the mayor, the council meeting room and the famous Hall of Mirrors with Neo-Rococo designed mirror frames and a ceiling with paintings by well-known artists. The hall of mirrors is the best-known part of the building. The corridors of the second floor have portraits of all the 20th-century Mayors of Málaga painted by prominent artists.

The City hall is a secure space and visitors require special permission to view its magnificent interior art and architecture.

Why You Should Visit:
The façade looks exquisite and viewed from the nearby park this building looms absolutely amazing and makes for some great photo ops.
Casas de Félix Sáenz

8) Casas de Félix Sáenz

Casas de Félix Sáenz consist of two blocks of flats built in the regionalist style of the Málaga-Este District. The houses were named in memory of the trader, who built these for rental, a role they play until today. These two buildings, designed by architect Fernando Guerrero Strachan, were built in 1922. The blocks are structured on three floors, plus towers; there are also quite a few façades of different heights, terraces and balconies. The buildings’ decorations consist of Neo-mudéjar and Neo-Renaissance elements, characteristic of the style of that time.
Palacio de la Tinta

9) Palacio de la Tinta

The old Palacio de la Tinta is a French-influenced edifice, which is located next to the Edificio de viviendas "Desfile del Amor", in the neighborhood of La Malagueta. The palace is a 10.500m² building, built in 1908 in the Parisian style - fin de siècle, by architect Julio O'Brien, who equipped this edifice with three courtyards, stables and elevator floors. Originally, it housed the headquarters of the Andalusian Railway Company, but now it is the seat of the Andalusian Water Agency. The palace’s unique architectural style makes it one of its kind in Malaga.
Castillo de Gibralfaro

10) Castillo de Gibralfaro (must see)

This castle is an ancient fortress resting on top of the Gibralfaro Hill. The peak is 131 meters high and offers spectacular views of the city of Malaga and the Mediterranean Sea. The image of the structure is depicted on the seal and flag of Malaga City.

The Moors erected the fortress near an old lighthouse constructed by the Phoenicians. The name Gibralfaro comes from 'gabel' which means rock in Arabic and 'faro' meaning lighthouse in Greek. Abd-al-Rahman III, the Caliph of Cordoba commissioned the construction of a castle at the site. Yusef I, the Sultan of Grenada built additional structures including a Coracha or walled passage that connects the castle with the Alcazaba, in the 14th century. The Christian monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella laid siege to the castle for three months. The siege ended only when hunger forced the Moorish armies to surrender. This was the first time that both armies used gunpowder. After victory, Ferdinand stayed at the castle while Isabella remained in the city.

Today visitors can reach the castle by bus, taxi or by climbing the steps to the summit. They can only see the ruins of the castle and the mosque that once stood at the location. There are several bread ovens and wells within the property. The old gunpowder room now houses an information center and there is a small one-room museum with exhibits that tell the once glorious tale of the castle.

Why You Should Visit:
Excellent attraction not just for history sorts but for anyone wanting to get the best views of this beautiful city and the sea et al beyond.
If you're only able to get one complete view of the city, then a visit to Gibralfaro is ideal – and for a relatively nominal charge.
Amenity-wise, Gibralfaro has a bar area with some (but not much) seating co-located with the public toilets also nearby.
Another advantage of starting any historic endeavor at this castle is that you are then able to work your way down the hill (public footpath) to the next phase of historic attractions.

The site is perhaps best experienced by walking around the walls which can sometimes be high and often unprotected, as well as narrow – so do be patient and do take care.
Taking young children onto the walls is not a very good idea, or if you do, make sure to permanently hold on to them... and tightly.
Get a combo ticket including Alcazaba, walk downhill and enjoy also the spectacular interior of the lower castle and the Roman theatre.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-8pm (Summer); 9am-6pm (Winter)

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