If you haven't seen it already then check out my Marbella Fuerte Hotel post first, for a better idea on where my family and I were staying on our summer vacation. Anyway, literally a five minute walk away from our hotel was this lovely gorgeous little old town called...wait for it...Old Town!!! Ba-dum-tish!!! Well that was slightly anticlimactic...but the Spanish makes it sound way more exotic so we'll go with that; Casco Antiguo (with the fancy accent if you please :P).
CASCO ANTIGUO (OLD TOWN)
PLAZA DE LOS NARANJOS (ORANGE SQUARE)
Continuing with the literal and as the name would suggest, this town square is full of orange trees. Now while I was there the oranges weren't in fruit, but you could still sit down and enjoy some freshly squeezed orange juice by the fruit stand while relishing the nice cool breeze. Or wander around the many little shops and boutiques, like I did, lined with all sorts of pretty things...art, Flamenco skirts and toys! Oh my! And an authentic churro stall - but sadly not for a gluten-intolerant like me (all that yummy melted chocolate sauce, wasted)!
VIRGEN DE LOS DOLORES (VIRGIN OF SORROWS)
Along my promenade and located in the old quarter, I came across the Virgin of Sorrows very much by accident and captured this beautiful shot (which I later realised was the typical touristy shot but I don't care, I still love it!). Niched on a balcony of a house that can be dated back to the 17th century (much like the Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation, see below) its main role was to bless the people and the city.
You'll soon come to realise while wandering the little passageways that the contrast of blue flower pots with whitewashed walls is a favourite in Andalucía...
Look, even THE PEOPLE MATCH!!! (Now that's my kind of town!). I kid, I was super lucky that this man walked past and I captured him in time just before he rounded a corner.
I must say I really love this colour combination, it reminds me of the likes of Santorini #wishlistdestination.
In any case you know you're somewhere hot when they can afford to decorate their walls with flowers and flower pots!
Oh look, someone else's clothes matches the pretty flowers (heart eyes emoji)!!! Honestly it's like they were waiting for me on purpose?!!
As you can imagine merrily walking down these little alleyways smelled divine, let alone seeing them.
I really highly recommend doing this if you're ever in Casco Antiguo. Plus, it's also mostly residential areas, so it's super quiet and relaxing.
Most of the hustle and bustle is rooted (excuse the pun) in Orange Square and even then it's not that busy to begin with (but we did travel to Marbella in more of the "off season" that is beginning/mid September so my opinion might be a bit biased).
Every alleyway had a hidden gem of some sort; from delicious looking tapas restaurants to breathtaking hanging plants (more like Amazonian forests!) and even cute, secluded and quiet residential squares. Really, it's just up to you to find them!
IGLESIA NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA ENCARNACIÓN (CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE INCARNATION)
Because I can't write a touristy blog post without some sort of history thrown in, be prepared to get bored...I mean highly entertained and intrigued (got to make my History of Art/Architecture degree worth it somehow?!!).
The Church of the Incarnation started construction in 1618, and was restored after the Spanish Civil War. The main entrance made out of ochre stone, located by the Calle Caridad, was built after 1750 and features the Rococo style, a late Baroque style; not as political and more playful and witty. However, the interior which is divided into three sections (apse, transept and nave), is basilica based.
As a certain Cogsworth would say "if it ain't Baroque, don't fix it!" and this is pretty much the church in a nutshell (who else is looking forward to the new Beauty and the Beast movie starring Emma Watson?). If you know anything about the Baroque style in question, then you'll know it's all about the drama and exuberant detail. And this sumptuous, and most eye-catching altarpiece I think I've ever seen, doesn't disappoint! This man kneeling and praying in front of the reredos (distinguished from the retable counterpart by the fact that it rises from the floor and not from the altarpiece itself or the surface behind it), really gives the viewer an idea of the scale and grandeur.
However, not to be outdone, this isn't the only masterpiece of the Church of the Incarnation as every corner you turn contains another gilded beauty (yes, as you may have guessed, we're in a Catholic church!!!). Even the organ dubbed "órgano del sol mayor" (organ of the greater sun) is a treasure in itself, completed in 1975 it is one of the most important organs to be built in Spain in the last 125 years, sadly I didn't get to hear it play, but I'm sure it is Heavenly (pun totally intended)!!!
So there you have it, my visit to Casco Antiguo.
What was your favourite part or picture from this post?
Do you like to wander around old European towns while on holiday and make little discoveries along the way, or do you prefer the hustle and bustle of more touristic destinations?
What has been your favourite place to visit as of late?