MALAGA, SPAIN: “Picasso is still here, I feel he is still living with us”, art-guide Reimundo Mairate proclaims. Few tourists visiting the Costa del Sol realize that Malaga is a city of many museums, a city to admire art, learn and to be entertained by the art scene. With Reimundo as guide it seems like many of the great masters are still alive – at least compelling and vivid on the walls of Malaga’s many museums.
Picasso and Carmen Thyssen are just two of 28 museums, most of them concentrated in the historic quarter, making Malaga’s old town one of those with the highest concentration of museums.
Here is Reimindo’s guide to art and culture:
Picasso Museum of Malaga, Calle San Agustin 8. Closed on Mondays.
Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga. He studied art in Madrid, and then moved on to Barcelona and Paris. There are a total of 233 pieces of art in the museum, many of them are ceramics. Picasso grew up in Plaza de la Merced, where his home is the Picasso Casa Natal Museum.
Museo Carmen Thyssen, Calle Compania 10, Palacio de Villalon.
This museum opened in 2011 and has a permanent collection of 230 paintings belonging to the Baronesa Carmen Thyssen, also known in Spain as Carmen Cervera. Most of these Spanish paintings could be described as Romantic art.
However, with Reimundo Mairate as the guide he always suggests to start with a visit to The Park La Conception, one of the biggest historical and tropical gardens in Europe. The park was created in 1855 and opened to the public in 1994.
After having enjoyed the flora and the shade we headed on to the top of Gibralfaro witch has best view over Malaga that you can find. Then we walked down the hill to Plaza de la Merced where Picasso played when he was a child.
“Nothing about Picasso could be possible if he wasn’t born in the house by the square. Now he is seated on a bench waiting for us”, Reimundo said before he took us to the Church of Santiago, built on top of a former mosque. Here Pablo was baptized with 11 names, and today it’s a temple of art. Even if the cathedral was built over three centuries it’s still unfinished.
Past and the future. Carmen Thyssen is another great building built in the 19th Century – full of landscapes, flamenco, dancing, traditions and zurbarab somewhere around. Next generation of Spanish art is right around the corner. Next year the new Fine Art Museum will open with a lot of paintings and arqueology.
“It’s not anymore a dream. The new museum gives you the chance to return to this paradise of art. Malaga is a city suitable for walking and it is a city for the future”, Reimundo Mairate says.
More history and museums in Malaga:
Fundacion Picasso – Casa Natal Museum, Plaza de la Merced.
La Alcazaba – a Moorish fortress
Automobile Museum of Malaga
Museum House of Dolls
Popular Arts Museum
Wine Museum of Malaga
Municipal Museum of Malaga
Malaga Flamenco Museum