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manifesto the Avenida del Mar


manifestoNow that the weather is getting colder and the beach is no longer the primary attraction in Marbella, I find myself wondering around town finding other interesting things to do.

Without the heat making it a burden to walk through the streets of Marbella’s city centre, there’s no rush to escape from them as in the summer season; it’s actually quite pleasant to feel the fresh air of a cold afternoon or morning, as you look around and start focusing on the diversity of shops and restaurants, the shape of the buildings, the benches and the squares, just to find yourself almost asking them for shelter.

As I engage in an exploratory walk through the busy streets of Marbella, I come to the realisation that this place has much more to offer than just luxury, fine dining and a stunning coastline. Hiding in plain sight within the town centre, a cultural secret emerges as I walk through Plaza de la Alameda towards the Paseo Marítimo.

At first sight, to me and many others, the Avenida del Mar seems like a big square with a few public statues on it, the ones that people usually pay no attention to. But if you were aware exactly what you’re walking past, or you had done your research before coming here, you would notice that these are no ordinary sculptures; they are, in fact, the creation of the multi talented Spanish artist Salvador Dalí.

One after another, his otherworldly creations welcome us to this open air museum of surrealism. For any art enthusiast, this is striking and unexpected. It makes you wonder what these metal creatures are doing there, lined up for you to admire and contemplate. Rumours suggest they are not actually originals but copies, and as I stand in front of them I wonder if that even matters.

There is actually no real link between Salvador Dalí and the town in itself, but the council clearly made an effort to make this space a very pleasant one to visit, enhancing its cultural credentials in the process.the Avenida del Mar

Walking past the Plaza de la Alameda on a cold afternoon, en route to the Avenida del Mar and towards the sea, you almost feel like you are somewhere else. The contrast between the city noises, the cars, the people rushing and the calm atmosphere that fills your ears as soon as you walk down the stairs towards the beach makes the air warm and tingle with music. The water fountains bring the spot to life for one to drink in after a tiring day, or maybe begin your day in a refreshing way.

For those who don’t really like public art, I invite you to take a stroll upon the marble-tiled square and absorb the uniqueness and the dreamy imagination that makes you appreciate the complex originality of Dali’s tamed genius.

I think that places like this are the ones that contribute to the town’s uniqueness, even more if you catch the last monument set closest to the beach, a creation of local artist Eduardo Soriano, which has engraved in its plinth “To the freedom of expression”, a sentiment that pretty much sums up the laissez -faire atmosphere of Marbella.

– María Galimany –
Featured Image credit: martin_vmorris