Whilst mooching through Malaga’s narrow pedestrianised streets, we stumbled across Iglesia de San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist church). The façade was brightly painted and went inside and looked around the very grand interior. A seated couple had heads bent, as if in prayer, but as we approached, we found they were scrolling through their phones.
Outside an information board told us that one of the typical Malaga architectural features of the 18th century were murals on the noblest buildings including churches. These are now being recovered after having been hidden under many layers of whitewash. The murals on Iglesia de San Juan Bautista were said to be unique due to its mesh shaped decoration which showed off the high level of skill in the combination of colours.
Other examples of church murals were listed, and we thought they would be interesting to explore. Having noted the details, plotted them on a map and chosen a route, we set off late one afternoon.
First up was the Iglesia San Felipe Neri, which we think we found, but there was no name, it was not open and there were no distinctive murals. However, it was adjacent to the Museum of Glass and Crystal which we hoped to visit. The major problem we found was that because the surrounding area was so crowded with narrow streets, it was hard to see in entirety and even harder to get a good photo.
Unsurprisingly we found Iglesia de los Mártires or the Martyrs Church in Plaza de los Mártires. It had a tall red brick tower, but again, was closed. I read later that ‘the outside is not too impressive’.
The third church was Iglesia de Santiago on Granada Street, this time with a cream brick bell tower. A theme was now developing – a closed building which was hard to photograph because of the narrow streets. As we were near El Pimpi, a Malaga institution, we thought we’d have a drink. Even at 4.30pm, the place was heaving and having been told a bar was closed, and being directed to another, we decided it was all a bit touristy and ‘up its own pimpi’.
Our fourth and final stop should have been the Iglesia Sagrario, next to the Cathedral. But by this point, we were getting weary and found it difficult to identify where one finished and the other started.
It had not been our most successful idea, and so we headed to the quiet Plaza de las Flores, for a much-needed glass of sangria.