THE EPISCOPAL PALACE, A BUILDING THAT NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION

There is no doubt that this building is a visual icon of the city of Malaga with its imposing position flanking one side of the Plaza del Obispo. It is one of the best examples of palatial architecture in the city. Its location is strategic and is closely linked to the Cathedral, both historically and spatially.

The design was mainly due to the architect Antonio Ramos, master architect of the Cathedral. The best-known part of the property was built in the 18th century at the initiative of the Bishop José Franquis Lasso de Castilla (1756-1776).

The palace area that we want to highlight is organised around a large central courtyard. All this space was intended to be the administrative area of the Palace, and is composed of a low body with arches on Tuscan columns. The second floor has balconies on all four interior façades. And on the third floor the features are windows.

Two recessed arches in one of the sides lead to a double staircase of Imperial design covered by a domed ceiling.

The design of the building’s main façade is worth highlighting for its Baroque style and is built over three floors. The façade is articulated through paired pilasters which feature balconies on the upper floors and windows on the ground floor.

PRIVATE GARDEN

In September 2014, the Palacio Episcopal Málaga Centro de Arte opened a new section to the public the so-called private garden, that until then it had not been possible to visit, and which has now been included in the visit and art space. This was the last area of the palace to be built, toward the second half of the 18th century, and was most likely overseen by José Martín de Aldehuela, who was in charge of finishing the work on the Episcopal Palace started by Antonio Ramos.

The words of Juan Temboury and Fernando Chueca describe it well: “…In the midst of the built area there is a courtyard, divided into three spaces. The first, with its fountain and its iron gate, is a kind of open hallway which serves as the entrance to a delightful garden. This is combined with a further two levels, separated by a balustrade, two water basins and a series of five steps. All this rich marble facing has as its backdrop the arches of the gallery, with the lines intercepted by laurels and orange trees, creating a truly theatrical atmosphere and design”.