Historic Artistic Heritage
MINARETS, PALACES AND CHURCHES
After the Christian conquest, a hybrid art appears in Malaga, which is a mixture of Muslim and the new Christian tendencies: the Mudejar. This was mainly developed in the churches and convents, whereas the higher status buildings, the Cathedral of Malaga and the most important temples in Antequera and Ronda, are oriented towards the new official style.
Next to the Mudejar architecture, which extends over practically all the province, elements brought by the conquerors begin to appear which are characteristic of the late gothic and first renaissance.
Belonging to the late gothic are the convents of Santo Domingo and San Francisco in Ronda, the monastery of San Zoilo in Antequera, and the parish of the Sagrario in Malaga. The first renaissance is manifested in the Gigantes Arch and the Antequera Collegiate, as well as the Malaga Cathedral.
The renaissance brings an abundant civil architecture to the historic-artistic heritage in Malaga, with late gothic, and Mudejar elements. Among that architecture there are hospitals such as the Bazan and San Juan de Dios, both in Marbella, the one in San Andres, in Coin or the one of San Marcos in Velez-Malaga.
The Catholic Kings disposition for the city councils and villas to have their own buildings made numerous municipal buildings surge. Among the few examples still conserved in the province there is the town hall in Marbella, as well as the Episcopal palace in Malaga, which forms part of the civil architecture chapter although it is ecclesiastic.
The domestic architecture from this era is developed by the construction of numerous palaces in the main cities of the province. Among them there are the Condes de Buenavista in Malaga, the Mondragon in Ronda, the Marqueses de la Peña de los Enamorados in Antequera, and the Casa de Cervantes in Velez-Malaga.
Between the 16th and 17th centuries the mannerist tendency from Italy is introduced into the Malaga architecture, with a special incident in the city of Antequera. Here, important remodelling takes place in the convents of San Agustin, and San Zolio, as well as in the churches of the Carmen, the church of the Remedios is built with mannerist canons. Other outstanding realisations of this kind are produced in Archidona (the church of Victoria), Velez-Malaga (the San Jose convent), and Ronda with some convents such as the Merced.
During the 17th century, the remodelling or enlarging of many parishes in all the province, which were speedily built after the Christian conquest usually over old mosques, will produce a notable transformation in the historic-artistic heritage. Churriana, Gaucin, Yunquera, Monda, Guaro, Alozaina, Arriate, Casarabonela, Algatocin, Benalmadena, and Torrox would be the first towns affected by this remodelling policy. Later, the city of Malaga and Antequera will follow, completing the 17th century with Colmenar, Frigiliana, Nerja, Jubrique, Cartagima, Casares, El Burgo, Montejaque, and Ronda.
The civil architecture in this century was less active than the religious one, but we must emphasise other public or municipal ones which would have an ample incidence in the development of Malaga: among then is the ports construction, the ordering and restoring of coastal and defence towers on the wharf, as well as the construction of new forts. Outside Malaga, there are the Casa de los Prados, and the palace of the Marchioness of Escalonias in Antequera, the town council in Velez-Malaga, the Puente Viejo, the military quarters which is now the town hall and the reform of the Mudejar palace of Mondragon in Ronda.
Finally, in the 17th century the figure of the sculptor, Pedro de Mena, and the characteristic pathos of his images will be an important feature in religious sculptures.
After the mannerist stage, the baroque marks one of the most brilliant periods of art in Malaga. Carvers, religious image makers, and architects develop a large activity in many buildings in the province, thus making a valuable contribution to the Andalusian baroque.
One of the most outstanding aspects of this era are the decorative transformations which extend over all the province from the beginning of the 18th century. Good exponents of this tendency are the church of Santiago in Malaga, the Buen Pastor chapel in Velez-Malaga, the Sagrario in Casarabonela, the hermitage of Cartama, the Fuensanta niche in Coin, and the Madre de Dios church in Ronda. But the place where the baroque ornamentation reaches more splendour is in the city of Antequera. There, the churches of San Juan de Dios, of Belen and Santa Catalina, as well as the Remedios niches, the carmen of the Virgen del Rocio in the Santo Domingo church are beautiful exponents of this decorative activity.
Next to the remodelling and ornamentations, the Malaga baroque also has notable architectural works, re-emphasizing the city of Antequera which was favoured in the 18th century for its geo-strategic situation between the High and Low Andalusia. Here, the church of Santa Catalina, the beautiful tower of San Sebastian, among the religious works, and the palace of the Marquis of Villadarias among the representative civil works. Outside of Antequera, the most important works appear in Ronda (the temple of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores), Velez-Malaga (the church of the barefoot Carmelites), and Archidona (the niches of the Dulce Nombre convent).
In the 18th century they also resumed the works on the cathedral in Malaga which had been paralysed since the previous century. The architect who was chosen to finish the work, Jose de Bada, represents the connection of the Granada baroque with Malaga.
In the second half of the 18th century, the architecture in Malaga began to move between rococo and classic-baroque. The decorative tendencies were modified, now they are finer and more sensual, and a special attention is given to urban space, emphasizing once more the city of Antequera, with notable ramifications in nearby cities, such as in Archidona where the Ochavada square was constructed. This dedication to urban space would also have a singular artistic manifestation, the sanctifying of this space with street chapels, which are now built or renovated.
All these tendencies are also manifested in the city of Ronda, above all at the end of the 18th century, such as the construction of the Puente Nuevo, the palace of Salvatierra which was built over an older one conserving the Mudejar part, and the bullfighting ring, the Real Maestranza.
Another rococo focal point was the city of Malaga with works such as the church of the Martyrs or remodelling as with the Merced church, gone today, but here most of the works are in the baroque-classic style, one of the most significant exponents being the private nucleus of the Episcopal Palace and the gardens of the Retiro in Churriana.
The urbanizing fever of this century would also reflect on Malaga, with the remodelling of the suburbs, such as the Trinidad and Perchel, the ordering of the historical centre, such as the Obispo square or the realization of infrastructural works such as the Alameda Principal, the Alameda de Capuchinos or the Aqueduct of San Telmo bridge over the Humaina brook.
A name which is narrowly joined to the Malaga classical baroque is the architect from Aragon, Martin de Aldehuela, who directed a large part of the civil architecture in this era, as well as urbanistic remodelling.