Declared a National Monument, it is the finest example of Muslim art to be found in the town. Dating back to the 18th century, it is also known as the Ermita de la Virgen de Espera.
Part of the walls of the Islamic city of Medina, the Puerta de Málaga is a gate of the bending passage variety. In spite of its small size, it is reminiscent of the Justicia gate of the Alhambra in Granada. Its main faèade, which is 9.94 metres wide, features a horseshoe arch with a sunken frame, creating the familiar divided-space niche so typical in Nazarî architecture. Between this arch and the section where the gate itself opens is a gap through which missiles could be fired during sieges.
The interior layout of the tower, which was heavily restructured when it was converted into a chapel, was recovered again following the restoration of 1986; in addition, the arch on the inner face, which was practically buried for many years, was recovered and renovated. However, out of respect for the monument’s long association with the Virgin Mary, this renovation retained the small altarpiece and the canvas of the Virgen de Espera, a curious, Mannerist-style painting which, with the city walls as a backdrop, is a free portrayal of the Gothic image of the Virgen de la Esperanza found in the Colegiata de San Sebastián.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jesús Romero Benîtez, Guîa Artîstica de Antequera