Málaga is a famous Spanish port city on the Mediterranean, capital of the Province of Málaga, in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, also the main city on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun). With a population of 571,026 in 2018, it is the second-most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth-largest in Spain. With a diverse history dating back 2,800 years, Malaga is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Founded about 770 BC by the Phoenicians as Malaka, the city was then conquered by the Romans, Visigoths, Moors and finally in 1487 it was taken by the Catholic Christians. All of these civilizations have left their mark on the city's architecture and culture, making it an interesting and fascinating place to visit in Spain. Málaga enjoys a Mediterranean climate with very mild winters and hot summers, with an average of about 300 days of sunshine a year. With rich culture, historical sights, delicious cuisine, beautiful port and large sandy beach, Málaga has it all to be an attractive place for visitors throughout the whole year. The city is also proud to be the birthplace of the world-renowned painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, and the Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas. In this blog post, I will focus on some of the major city attractions - Málaga Cathedral, Picasso Museum and Picasso Birthplace Museum (Museo Casa Natal).
Located right in the heart of the historic Old town, the majestic Cathedral of Málaga is a must-visit attraction.
The Cathedral was built in the course of two centuries, between 1528 and 1782 on the site of a former mosque.
It is popularly known by locals as "La Manquita", the little one-armed lady, due to the fact that it has only one tower. Originally, two towers had been planned, but the construction of the second tower was stopped because funds were used instead to help those British colonies which became the United States to gain their independence from Great Britain.
The breathtaking interior of the Cathedral is an impressive combination of Renaissance and Baroque styles with a touch of Gothic influence.
The seventeenth-century choir stalls of mahogany and cedarwood are an exceptional piece of work. They were designed by Luis Ortiz and after his death completed by the famous sculptor Pedro de Mena.
You may want to take a rooftop tour of the Cathedral. Even though you have to climb two hundred steps, the tour is worthy as you can admire beautiful panoramic views of the city. There is also a small museum you can visit.
Guided tours are available during the day in English and Spanish.
Entrance to the Cathedral costs around 6.00 Euro for general admission, though youth and senior discounts are also applicable.
As the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, Málaga houses two separate museums dedicated to the work and life of the great artist - Picasso Museum and Picasso Birthplace Museum ( Museo Casa Natal ).
Both museums are located within short walking distance from each other and both are worth of visit, even though Picasso Museum contains a permanent collection of the most important works of the painter and I would rank it as the more important one.
Located in the Old town, a few steps from the Cathedral, Picasso museum is housed in the Buenavista Palace. It was opened by the King and Queen of Spain on 27th October 2003 and it has been one of the most visited museums in Andalusia since then.
The museum showcases some of the greatest works of Picasso.
In the 12 halls of the permanent exhibition gallery on display are more than 200 works by the creator of Cubism. Some of the works are donated by the members of Picasso's family.
You will see such classic Picasso works as 'Olga Kokhlova with Mantilla (Barcelona 1917), Mother and Child (1921-1922) and Portrait of Paulo with the white hat (1923).
There are also many sketches and ceramics on display, as well as temporary exhibitions, which are optional when you buy your entrance ticket.
The entrance fee varies and it's about 10-15 Euro depending on what you choose to visit. It includes an Audio Guide which is available in nine languages: Spanish, English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.
*Photography and filming are not allowed in this museum.
Picasso Birthplace Museum ( Museo Casa Natal ). Picasso Foundation
Born on 25 October 1881 in Málaga, Spain, Pablo Ruiz Picasso is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, who experimented and innovated during his 92 years on earth. He was not only a master painter but also a sculptor, printmaker, ceramics artist, etching artist and writer.
His work matured from the naturalism of his childhood through Cubism, Surrealism and beyond, shaping the direction of modern and contemporary art through the decades.
He died in 1973 in France, where he lived the majority of his adult years.
The house where he was born and spent his first ten years now is a museum and it is located at number 15 Plaza de la Merced, in the historic center of Malaga.
Opened to the public since 1988, the birthplace museum houses personal belongings of the artist and his family, as well as it showcases a collection of the artist’s works, including graphic artwork from 1931 to 1971.
A specialized library and temporary exhibitions and cultural activities complement the visit of Picasso's Birthplace Museum.
On the ground floor of the museum is the temporary exhibition hall where you can see interesting artifacts from the beginning of Picasso's home and cultural life. The first floor has many works on display by the artist and his father, Jose Ruiz Blasco, as well as personal mementos of the Picasso family. The third floor is dedicated to the library and research center, with an expansive archive of material on the artist and his work.
The museum also contains over 3,500 examples of contemporary art by more than 200 artists, including a large selection of graphic art by Miró, Bacon, Ernst, Matta, and more. Contemporary artists from the 1950s to the present day are also represented.
The birthplace museum is a headquarters of the Fundación Picasso, also known as "Museo Picasso Málaga Foundation. The Paul, Christine and Bernard Ruiz Picasso Legacy". The Foundation has the objective to promote the work of Pablo Picasso, and to acquire more artworks each year, with a view to eventually having the complete collection of Picasso's graphic art under one roof to show the different periods and techniques in the sequence.
The Museum entrance fee is 3-4 Euro.
The Museum is free every Sunday from 4:00 PM until closure and is free for unemployed and disabled persons.
Photography and filming are allowed.