Every year the “Casas Corralones” in Málaga open their doors to show off their famous patios. It’s a great opportunity to learn about local culture and traditions.
We stepped through the doorway of a house in the Málaga neighborhood of La Trinidad. The door was open and the cool hallway provided a welcome escape from the midday sun. At the end of the short hallway was a soft green light. All of a sudden we found ourselves standing in the most beautiful Andalusian patio I’d ever seen. Filled with plants, hand painted ceramic plates on the walls and fans with soft flamenco music playing from an antique radio. This was the patio I’d heard so much about. We were finally visiting the Casas Corralones in Málaga and it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve discovered since living here.
Let me start by giving you a bit of history. The Casas Corralones in Malaga are the typical homes that date back to the mid 19th century. They are multi-family homes with a shared patio in the middle where the families often enjoyed social activities and shared community life. These homes were originally constructed for the working class families as a way to provide cheaper housing and they remain one of the most typical homes in Malaga architecture.
While many of these homes have been torn down to make way for newer apartment buildings and more modern homes, there are still various casas corralones around. They are mainly found in the neighborhoods of El Perchel and La Trinidad and for more than ten years they have held a contest for the best decorated patio.
During the festival, the patios are open in the morning and the afternoons and you can follow a little map to see all the different patios that are participating, as well as enjoy different cultural events. The idea is to promote the culture and traditions that these neighborhoods have always enjoyed. For me it was a chance to peek inside what are sure to be the most pure expression of Andalusian culture.
The walls of every patio were covered with ceramic plates, beautiful pots painted in bright colors, red geraniums spilling out of every one. The plants made them into tiny magical wonderlands, hidden from the street and the plain facade of the buildings. I think what I like best about these homes is that you would never know which ones hold the most beautiful secret gardens.
Something else that struck me when we were visiting the patios were the neighbors; the people. In Málaga people are generally welcoming, but this was something different. This week these families invite us all to a giant block party. On Saturday and Sunday they even cooked tapas. We had some snails in a delicious homemade broth and ensaladilla malagueña (a kind of Malaga potato salad) along with a little glass of Malaga sweet wine. It wasn’t served by waiters, but rather the neighbors who lived in that patio.
The pride that the neighbors take, not just in their city, but in their neighborhood and their homes is evident. We are not always able to have access into such an intimate world, such a true portrait of everyday life and shared moments. The casas corralones are more than just a flower show. This is a piece of history that will help you to understand Malaga, it’s traditions and it’s people in a whole new light. We feel privileged to live nearby. Ruskommended with 5 boquerones.
Casas Corralones in Málaga, Participants
Polvorista Nº 2, Agustín Parejo Nº 8, Agustín Parejo Nº 10, Agustín Parejo Nº 14, Agustín Parejo Nº 19/23, La Puente Nº 4, La Puente Nº 6, La Puente Nº 7, Plaza Imagen Nº 1, Plaza Imagen Nº 2, Plaza Imagen Nº 3, Martinete Nº 2, Pulidero Nº 5, Pulidero Nº 3, Bustamante Nº 8, Bustamante Nº 6, Canoa Nº 4, Zurradores Nº 2, Zurradores Nº 4, Doña Trinidad Nº 3, Calvo Nº 17.
Pizarro Nº 6, Zamorano Nº 2, Zamorano Nº 4, Carboneros Nº 18, Feijóo Nº 6-8, Pizarro Nº 14, Pizarro Nº 16, Zamorano Nº 27, Zamorano Nº 28, Zamorano Nº 58, Trinidad Nº 84, Trinidad Nº 86, Trinidad Nº 89, Barrera de la Trinidad Nº 5, Plaza Bravo Nº 4, Plaza Bravo Nº 5, Plaza Bravo Nº 7, Plaza Montes Nº 6, Yedra Nº 11, Jara Nº 1, Jara Nº 2-4, Jara Nº 18, Jara Nº 45, Jara Nº 43.[/box]