The jewel of Malaga, the La Concepción Gardens constitute the most beautiful and important tropical garden in Spain and one of the best in Europe. A century and a half old - Marquis Jorge Loring Oyarzábal and Marchioness Amalia Heredia Livermore created them in 1850 - these gardens were declared a historic-artistic garden ensemble in 1943 and were recently acquired, restored and opened to the public by Malaga Town Hall.
A visit to these gardens, situated five kilometres from the city centre, is an unforgettable experience, and tourists of all nationalities are amazed to find this beautiful and exquisite garden surrounded by arid and rugged mountains.
The tour round these gardens is a true spectacle that gives the sensation of being immersed in a tropical jungle -albeit a refined and elegant tropical jungle - transposed to Europe.
The tour includes a small museum with statues and Roman mosaics and an archaeological exhibition.
A Garden for the four seasons:
This garden can be enjoyed and admired in any season of the year, as it contains mainly perennial tropical plants: gigantic Rubber Trees, majestic Monkey Puzzle Trees, a variety of tall slim Palm Trees, a sculptural Canary Island Dragon Tree, extraordinary Cycads, gigantic Birds of Paradise, forests of tall Bamboos, etc; all of this with such a huge range of hues that it is well worthy of its nickname, the 'garden of the hundred greens'.
In autumn it acquires tones of gold and copper, melancholic and romantic, whilst in winter, the delicate yellow flowering of the Mimosas are mirrored in the Nymph Stream. In spring there is the spectacular explosion of the Wisteria that winds itself around the iron structure of the aristocratic summerhouse before launching upwards, in search of the sun, to cover with surprising cascades the tops of the Cypresses and Rubber Trees and the slim trunks of several Palm Trees.
In the summer the Water Lilies add the brilliance of colours, including the legendary Blue Water Lily, and when the temperatures soar in Malaga, in the heart of this jungle the thermometer always marks several degrees less, making a visit round these gardens a refreshing walk.
Built at the end of the 19th century, its construction was ordered in 1850 by the Marquis and Marchioness Loring, Jorge Loring Oyarzábal and Amalia Heredia Livermore, and it was given the name of one of their daughters. It was one of the most important social centres of the times, visited by personalities such as the Marquis of Salamanca, Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, Estêbanez Calderón, Francisco Silvela, Eduardo Dato and many others.
The gardens on this estate were planted with many exotic plants brought, some of them, from Africa, Asia and Australia. It is a true Botanical Garden, where some of the most rare subtropical species in the world are reproduced. Due to the climate on the Coast, these rare species are not only guaranteed to survive but also to flourish and grow, although some of them reach such impressive dimensions that it would be difficult for them to survive elsewhere. Some present the peculiarity of having roots in the form of a human leg, others require the support of a second species to reach the sunlight, etc.
From the layout one receives the impression that there was not a preconceived plan, but rather that it has evolved due to the relief of the terrain, which has been well used to construct a series of avenues, paths, ponds, cascades, grottos, as well as a number of decorative elements that adorn this garden, This estate originally formed part of others in Malaga, known as estate of San Josê, from which it was separated when the N-321 road was built.
Amalia and Jorge, the Marquises of Loring, shared different hobbies and it could be said that through these they left us a beautiful and marvellous legacy. The Marchioness contributed with her love of exotic plants and arranged for a huge variety of exclusive species and worthy examples to be obtained, planted and acclimatised in the gardens. The Marquis, in turn, was an archaeology lover and had a large collection of Roman sculptures and elements installed.
Today the La Concepción Gardens have only a small museum or pseudo-classic pavilion, a few fragments of Roman mosaics, and an archaeological exhibition with the remains of a few statues, albeit that the most important pieces are conserved in Malaga's Alcazaba.
After the death of Jorge Loring in 1900, and his wife, in 1911, the La Concepción Estate was put up for sale at public auction and was purchased by the Basque Country family Echevarrîa-Echevarrieta. It was officially declared a historic-artistic garden ensemble in 1943 and recently acquired, restored and opened to the public by Malaga Town Hall, although a visit to these gardens appears as recommended in foreign tourist guides as far back as the beginning of the 20th century. It forms part of the Municipal Botanical Heritage.
How to find it
Address: CMNO JARDIN BOTANICO DEL 3, 29014 Málaga
- Oficina: 952250745
- Fax: 952257442
- Información: 952252148
- Webpage: http://laconcepcion.malaga.eu