Sala Maria Cristina

Calle Marques de Valdecañas, 2

Web: http://www.csmunicaja.es/sede_en.htm

Ticket sales: http://www.generaltickets.com/unicaja...

Opening hours:

9.00 to 22.00 H - Monday to Saturday

The Sala Maria Cristina (Maria Cristina Hall) is one of the architectural and musical treasures of Malaga, one of the hidden treasures, because few people have seen it. In 1489 the building was constructed as the Convento San Luis El Real, a Franciscan convent. In the 1836 Spain passed the a law to expropriate all church property, so the convent was expropriated and stopped functioning as a convent. Later it became the Malaga Lyceum in the middle of the 19th century and concerts were given in it by the Classical Concert Society. Eduardo Ocon Rivas created the Real Conservatory Maria Cristina, which was the forerunner of the present-day Malaga Philharmonic. The site became the School of Music and Declamation until 1971, when it was transferred to the nearby El Ejido campus of the University of Malaga. The building fell into ruin until it was rescued in 1975 by the Unicaja Bank. The building was restored and reopened in 2009 as a music hall. The music hall is recognized to be one of the buildings with the best acoustics in Andalusia. There are now nine music rooms where professors give advanced music classes.

The building has a Mudejar style convent tower. There is a surface plan of the building with 2322 square meters. The Salon Mudejar has one of the most beautiful Mudejar ceilings, which have plenty of color. The original ceiling was cleaned and the vivid colors reappeared. Most Mudejar ceilings are devoid of color, so this is one of the unique ceilings in all of Spain. The concert hall was the central nave of the convent church.

The Hall of Mirrors is the anteroom to the concert hall and is filled with Venetian mirrors with incredibly beautiful gilded frames. During the big earthquake in Portugal in 1755, the mirrors cracked. An unknown artist then painted flowers on the mirrors, that now hide the cracks. The ceiling murals were created by Jose Denis Belgrano, Martinez de la Vega, and Jose Nogales.

The most famous of these artists is Jose Denis Belgrano. He has a special Sala Denis Belgrano, which contains more of his murals and paintings. He was born in Malaga in 1844 and died in 1917. When he was young, the Marques de Guadiaro, Carlos Larios, gave him a scholarship for two years to study in Rome in 1862. He returned to Malaga and became a student of Bernardo Ferrandiz. In 1875 he returned to Rome for two years. In 1887 he became a professor in the School of Fine Arts in Malaga. His style has been likened to the style of Fortuny, the great 19th century Spanish painter.