The Corralones of Málaga

The city of Córdoba is famed for the festival of the patios. Many of the large houses open their much-decorated patios to visitors over a period of a couple of weeks. It has become a huge tourist attraction and the competition to win awards is fiercely contested.
Perhaps because of this success, Málaga instituted a similar festival some ten years ago.
However, not many of the big old houses survived in the city centre, so the festival moved into the Gypsy quarters, where many of the apartment buildings share a communal patio, or "Corralone". Whilst lacking the spectacle of Córdoba, it was worth a visit.

While we were wandering around the neighbourhood, waiting for the patios to open for their afternoon session, we spotted this house.
The sign above the door signifies that it is a "Peña" - a club. We assumed it was some kind of social club.

As it happened, the first patio we visited was one of the best. Although it was small, it was well decorated and the very proud owner came out to show us her patio.

Some patios, although on the publicised route, did not open at all. Others, such as this one left the doors open and just a barred gate stopping access.

This one is more of a "Corralone"- a patio shared by several families. Many have a water feature, such as the well in this one.

Several houses had plaques on the wall outside. All of a religious theme and most decorated with plants like these.

This one had more plates and shawls than plants. It too had a water feature - a miniature waterfall at the end of the patio.

This was a larger "corralone", obviously shared by many families. The brightly coloured shawls  gave colour to the balconies.

This one was even bigger, almost like a private street. One of the owners told us it was shared by thirteen families, and he was proud of the orange tree, just peeping around the corner at the top of the picture.

This one too was shared by several families. They had more plates than plants for decoration.

This was the only round Corralone on the list. The owner was proud that their Corralone was unique.

This small patio was more like a museum than a patio. While we were looking at it, we had a lucky stumble. A young man invited us to go upstairs where he said there was more to see......

Lana did not fancy the stairs so I went up. The roof terrace was fitted out a bit like a bar and the owner said they used it for Flamenco.
Flamenco is not just the dance, but it is a whole culture of music and song, as well as the dancing. He told me of many famous Flamenco singers who were born and some who still lived in this bario. Then I saw the model of the blue house we had seen, together with a model of the inside of one floor.
That is the centre for Flamenco in this area.......

 The model of the inside of the "Peña".

The model of the blue house we saw right at the beginning.......

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