The “casas corralones” in Málaga: astonishing Andalusian patios in Trinidad and Perchel

Every year in June, you have the opportunity to visit the wonderful patios of Trinidad and Perchel. This is the perfect occasion for learning about local culture and traditions.

As I approached the first building, I was very surprised by the beautiful facade covered with pots and typical paintings of Malaga: el cenachero (a man selling fish) and the light house. But, it was only the beginning. The door was open, and after stepping through the short hallway, we found ourselves standing in the middle of an amazing Andalusian patio. The walls were covered with handmade ceramic plates, fans, embroidered silk shawls, pots painted in bright colours, geraniums spilling out of each one. Fountains, wells, traditional utensils, tables, chairs, benches in multiple colours created a unique atmosphere that blended harmoniously with soft flamenco music and the voices of the people.

But first, let´s start at the beginning. What is the history of these amazing patios known as “casas corralones”?

It was in the mid 19th century that these typical homes were built as a way to provide cheaper housing for the working families. They are multi-family homes sharing a central patio where the families share social activities and community life.

Although many of them have been demolished some still remain and others have been restored in the same traditional style mainly in the neighbourhoods of La Trinidad y El Perchel.

For the last twelve years these two neighbourhoods have held a courtyard competition  in the first week of June to choose the best decorated patio.  For a few years there has also been a “tapas” route in which visitors can try the most traditional dishes: ensalada malagueña, migas, boquerones a la campana, porra, caracoles, callos , torrijas….

This year, the twelfth edition of the festival, the gastronomic route has been named “The flavour of the corralones; female ingenuity” in recognition of women as the main inheritors and transmitters of our culinary heritage.

During the festival, you can visit the patios participating in the contest, about fifty, and also enjoy different activities:  zarzuela concerts “traditional Spanish operetta”, flamenco, theatre, a floral decoration competition, exhibitions of traditional utensils etc. All these activities are an embryo of a larger tourism project to continue pushing the Trinidad and the Perchel towards a more hopeful future. For all of us, this is the best way to peek inside the most pure expression of the old Andalusian culture.

*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *