We left Nerja behind on a fine sunny day to visit the city we always rush through on our way to the airport. Our first stop was the Museo de Arte Sacro, tucked away in a little street close to the Picasso Museum.
Pedro de Mena was a seventeenth century sculptor from Granada who lived and worked in Málaga from 1628 to 1688. He was completing the choir stalls in the cathedral close to the Cistercian Monastery. In 1671 two of his daughters entered the monastery providing a handsome dowry for the establishment. The Museum contains some of his impressive wooden sculptures which he donated to the high chapel in his will. This small museum enables the visitor to get very close to the exhibits and see in detail the craftsmanship and wonderful colouring. I particularly enjoyed the anonymous Santa Ana y la Virgen , a small piece depicting Ana reading to the young Mary. The robes are beautifully sculpted in glowing colours.
A collection of Niños de la Passion was also displayed from the great collection belonging to the Abbey. These are intended to show the Infant child with the attributes of the Passion as if He were already suffering. Finally the Abbey preserves and displays some of the declarations of faith made by the nuns from as far back as 1644.The texts are surrounded by floral and geometric borders, rich in detail and colour.
The Museo de Arte Sacro is small and intimate and well worth a visit.
The Santuario de Santa María de la Victoria was our second visit. In a peaceful corner of the city, this church contains the Virgin Mary completely surrounded by a lofty and heavily embellished baroque ceiling. Nothing is left undecorated, but she could only be glimpsed by the worshipper through a space behind the altar. Beneath the church was an unexpected crypt with walls covered with macabre skeletons depicting the rigours of hell in contrast to the beauty of heaven in the church above.
Lunch was very enjoyable and gave us time to relax and chat with friends before making our way to the Conception Gardens in the coach. We had an unhurried tour admiring the trees and plants but Spring is a little late this year and the Wisteria was not in bloom. However the shade loving Clivias were splendid. Our guide was disappointing but several members were very knowledgeable and we managed to supplement her information with our own horticultural knowledge.
Finally we admired the splendid view from the Parador over the port and the bullring and finished the day with a drink together. It had been a full and interesting day with Andres our excellent guide. Málaga has so much to offer and is a short distance from where we live. City life and culture are there to be enjoyed and our thanks go to Helen and Wim Sijsling for organising a wonderful day.