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The Malaga Park (El Parque de Malaga)
The city park lies beside the port and goes from the Plaza de la Marina to the Plaza del General Torrijos. At the Plaza del General Torrijos, there is a beautiful fountain called the Fuente de las Tres Gracias (Fountain of the Three Graces), which is a French design of the 19th century. The park was constructed in 1897 and conceived as a botanical garden and has been remodeled in 2007, so it is now more than a hundred years old. New walkways have been added, statues have been cleaned, a new pond has been constructed, overgrown shrubbery has been removed, and many thousands of new plants and flowers have been planted. Alongside the main road there are two promenades that are bordered with palm trees and shade trees. There are many benches located throughout the park.
The preliminary plans were drafted by the Marquis of Larios and the architects were Rivera, Guerrero Strachan, Rucoba and Crooke were amongst those that took part in the long design and development phase. Joaquin de Rucoba was the architect who oversaw the building of the park. The park was designed as a Mediterranean garden with touches of the Renaissance and the Baroque. The land it sits on was reclaimed from the sea. Many of the trees and shrubs have small signs identifying them. Many of the statues and sculptures are also identified.
There is a walkway parallel to the Paseo de los Curas that has a lot of shade because of the canopy created by trees on both sides of this wide walkway. The new pond comes from an overflowing fountain and is bordered by rocks and flowers. There is a big mural with angels in relief. At one end of the park is a children's play area. Across the street, one can see the City Hall, the Bank of Spain (the most beautiful building in the city in Art Deco style), and the University building, which has an art gallery that is free to visitors.
The park is 800 meters long and occupies a space of 30,000 square meters. It contains plants from every continent, mainly from tropical and subtropical countries. Among the unique plants and trees are Sago Palms, Canary Island Dragon Trees, Canary Island Pine, Fire Tree, Tropical Pandan Trees, Barbary Trees, Chorisias, Cedars from Lebanon, and Bird of Paradise Trees. There are many more species in the park. Many of the trees were donations from the Marquis of Larios.
Across the street and beside the City Hall are the Gardens of Pedro Luis Alonso, which most people think belongs to the park. This smaller park was named for the first mayor of Malaga after the Spanish Civil War, and was designed by the famous Malaga architect Fernando Guerrero Strachan in 1948. The design is Spanish-Muslim and French, with paths bordered with symmetrical shrubs and orange trees. The park was remodeled in 2010 and is now a rose garden, with 10,200 rose bushes that come from 70 different varieties. The roses have signs giving the name and information of each variety. There are also ponds and small fountains. There is a statue of a biznaguero, a young man who sells flowers. During spring one can smell the perfume wafting through the park from the new blossoms. The park has an area of 2558 square meters.
Just below the Alcazaba are the Gardens of Puerta Oscura. These were designed by the architect Guerrero Strachan and run along the hill, below the walls of the fortress. It has many interesting trees and plants, with small terraces, fountains, bowers, and footpaths. One can get a good view of the big park and the port from this hillside.