Jorge Loring Oyarzabal and Amalia Heredia Livermore came from the richest families of Malaga and they bought the land on which the La Concepcion Gardens stand in 1855.

Seven years before this, they were married and went on an extended honeymoon of 6 months in Europe. They saw many beautiful gardens and decided to create one of their own when they returned to Malaga. The land they bought was located on the outskirts of the city and comprised of 49 hectares. At that time the Lorings were the richest family in Spain.

Jorge Loring, the Marquis of Casa Loring, was one of the best known businessmen in Malaga. He constructed the railway line between Malaga and Cordoba, and he founded the newspaper “El Correo de Andalucia”. He also was one of the owners of the Banco de Malaga. His father was George Loring James, from Massachussets, who went to Malaga and started a business there. Jorge Loring was an engineer, beside being a businessman, and was a very cultured man.

Amalia Heredia was the granddaughter of an English consul. Her father was Manuel Agustin Heredia Martinez, one of the richest businessmen in Malaga, who founded the iron industry in the city. She and Jorge belonged to the most prominent families of Malaga.

They hired Jacint Chamousset, a noted French gardener, to design the tropical gardens that they wanted. He selected the plants and he received several prizes for the design of the garden. The garden is designed as an English garden.

Beside the gardens is a mansion that the Lorings built, that has recently been restored. In this house, the Lorings entertained the cream of European society.

Amalia was ahead of her time and was extremely educated. She was a beauty with brains, a real intellectual. Royalty, intellectuals, writers, and artists were attracted by Amalia and Jorge and came to visit them in their house. Among visitors was the Empress Sissy of Austria.

La Concepcion quickly became famous for its gardens and also for the archaeological collection that the Lorings put in the small Loring Museum. This building has the Doric style. The archaeological remains were found in Cartama and Amalia had them brought to the gardens. The most famous remain is the Lex Flavia Malacitana, a bronze piece the has the Roman laws that governed Malaga in the year 80 AD, and which now is in the National Archaeology Museum in Madrid.

After the death of the Loring couple, the family went into economic decline and the estate was bought by the Echevarria family in 1911. In 1990 the City of Malaga bought the whole estate from this family and opened the gardens to the public in 1994.

The Gardens Today

In 1943 the gardens of La Concepcion were recognized as a garden of historical-artistic importance. There are more than 1000 species in the gardens. Among them are focuses, magnolias, pines, cypresses, cedars, and many of the trees are more than 100 years old. The palm tree collection is one of the best in Europe, with more than 100 species. The gardens are probably the largest tropical plant gardens in Europe. They are simply beautiful and unique in Europe.

Among the highlights of the garden are the Wisteria Walk, an arcaded area formed by wisterias that hang over a large trellis. This is spectacular in March and April, when the flowers bloom. The Lorings used to use this area as an outside dining room.

The tallest tree in Malaga is a Monkey Puzzle tree that has a height of 45 meters. It comes from Norfolk Island in South East Queensland. There are plants from the Philippines, Australia, India, Mexico, Java, China, Formosa, and Japan. Most of them are signposted, so it is an educational experience to see the tropical gardens. Sometimes one feels that one is in a tropical rain forest as one visits the gardens. The guide explains everything during the tour. There is plenty of running water around the gardens, that water the trees and plants. The paths are not paved, so one should wear comfortable walking shoes.

There is also a Canarian Palm Tree Walk that leads to a lookout point, where one can see the city of Malaga.

In the bookshop, one can buy the book titled “La Concepcion, Testigo del Tiempo” (in Spanish), written by Francisco Garcia Gomez, which has a very good explanation of the history of the gardens and reproductions of old photographs taken there of the families who lived there.

One picture is worth a thousand words and the photographer David Foster has taken pictures of the gardens and has it on his web:

http://www.pbase.com/dav4184/la_conce...

Opening hours

Opening time: 09:30.
Closing time:
From 1st April to 30th September: 20:30.
From 1st October to 31st March: 17:30.
Visitors are admitted up until one and a half hours before closing time.
The Gardens are closed on Mondays, 25th December and 1st January.

How to get here

By public transport: The Gardens are a 15-minute walk from the last stop on the number 2 bus route.

Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: Bus number 61 goes to the Gardens.

There is now a bus that goes directly to the gardens from the bus station and also stopping at the Automobile Museum. "The little red bus", not the tour guide bus. It runs approx. hourly from 11:15 at the Automobile Museum in the winter, last bus out of the gardens at 5:15 pm. Please check details with the tourist office, but this will get you right to the gardens.


By car:
On exiting the city along the road to Madrid (the Pedrizas highway), take the turnoff for Pantano del Agujero just past the first service station.

This is the Archaeological Museum.

 

A small bridge over a path.

 

This is one of many trees that are more than a hundred years old.

 

A small fountain with the figure of a boy.

 

This was the mansion that Jorge Loring and Amalia Heredia built to live in.

 

Another view of the house.

 

One of the paths in the gardens.

 

This pergola has good views of Malaga.