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Castillo de Colomares, a Fairytale Monument near Malaga

By Thursday, August 14, 2014 , ,

The Castillo de Colomares, a unique monument to Colombus, was another place I'd been as a small child, but couldn't quite remember. I remembered it being beautiful and strange, and asked my mother if she remembered it, was it in Barcelona by Gaudi or one of his contemporaries?

But no, it's in Benalmadena, South West of Malaga. Nearby is the first Tibetan Stupa built in the Western Hemsiphere, and a butterfly garden called the Mariposario de Benalmadena.

The closest train station is Torremuelle, but the walk to the Castillo is all up hill from there so we took bus 121 until we saw the stupa. In all honesty, it was very confusing since none of the bus stops had signs and there was no announcement or display prompt inside the bus. Fortunately, the stupa, ahtough not as large or impressive as the one I visited in Kathmandu, makes an excellent land mark. From the stupa, we made our to the monument following my gps.

I couldn't quite remember what it looked like and what we were looking for, but as we turned the corner it came into view, a small delicate fairytale castle.

Prows rearing up out of the earth, fountains, sculptures and secret staircases - each tower and gate tells part of the story, with descriptions like "Courtship Fountain: Ferdinand's and Isabella's Encounter" and "Fountain of Hope. Departure of the three Caravelas. Tribute to M.A. Finch: 'Pegasus of the Ocean Sea'."

A remote location, a modern monument that is timeless but feels ancient, it was first started in 1987 - making it a year younger than I am. A Dr Martin Stephen Martin, along with two bricklayers created it in 7 years, combining Byzantine, Romaneque, Gothic and Mudejar styles of architecture to represent the history of Spain.

The Pinta was big enough to have inside chambers. The doors were locked, but I pressed my camera up to the glass. The thick, antique glass made the insides look like they were underwater.

I wondered why I only saw two ships, and kept looking for the third, until I remembered that one of them sank. This satisfied my curiosity until I got home to my computer and wikipedia, and found that it was the Santa Maria who ran a ground on Cap-Haïtien, Haiti,  The official website includes this information as an explanation as to why the Santa Maria is further away from the other two, but we only saw two total. Even the arial view on google maps shows just two:

Maybe it was left unfinished, or maybe it really is so far away from the other two that we never found it. It looked like land nearby was being turned into a park, so a path was roped off. Perhaps it was hidden in the trees there?

But if it turns out I'll have to come back to find the Santa Maria, I won't mind!

Useful Information:

Summer hours 10.00 hs. to 14.00 hs. and 17.00 hs. to 21.00 hs.

Lineas 103 and 126 Benalmádena
Linea 112 Málaga-Mijas
Linea 121 Torremolinos-Benalmádena-Mijas
Look out for the Stupa!

Facilities: There are toilets, and a small refreshments area that was closed when we visited. 

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  1. Such beautiful pictures! I can see right away why you thought it might have been something Gaudi would have done (it practically screams take me to Barcelona). Great blog, stopping by via 20sb!

  2. What a wonderful place - beautifully captured!
    Thank you for sharing these magnificent photos, Claire!

  3. Beautiful photos! Looks like a magical place. Would love to visit some day!