The town of Benalmádena in Málaga is located only fifteen minutes away from the center of Málaga and offers amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea to its visitors. We began our visit to the town at a place that was completely unexpected: The Castle and Monument Colomares, which is open daily, including on Sundays from 10am- 2pm, as well as in the afternoon (hours vary with the seasons). And the visit will cost you only two euros. We didn´t think twice before parking the car in front of this unique roadside attraction.
The Castle of Colomares stood in the bright Andalucian winter sun with quixotic glory. We were told by the woman who sold us tickets that the castle had been constructed by Esteban Martin Martin, M.D. with the help of two other workers over the course of seven years (1987-1994). It was, in fact, a labor of love that the owner of the land decided to undertake in his spare time, building this castle bit by bit and inventing a story to go along with it. One might imagine that such a structure would be small, with few details, resembling a castle for a playground, or something you would see at a golf course. No, my friends, this structure, worthy of the praise of a night errant from La Mancha is a masterpiece dedicated to none other than Christopher Columbus.
We began our tour of the Castle and Monument, which unifies Bizantine, Romanesque, Arabic and Gothic architecture, at the Fountain of the Snake. This was meant to evoke the man and his surroundings and is called a Bizantine Cloister. We continued to the House of Aragon dedicated to the Jewish Origin of Columbus, the Old and New Testament, The Star of David, and the Bizantine and Gothic styles. What impressed us most about the structure was that around every corner you could find a fountain, a wall sculpted with care to reveal intricate patterns or beautiful views.
There were several points to look out at the views of the sea. We went to the edge of the property where there was a little balcony perfect for taking a photo of the view, as well as the castle. From there you could see the elaborate work made of sand colored stone. Where others had chosen to build typical chalets, here stood a monument to dreamers, history lovers and art enthusiasts. A palace built of stone by your own bare hands? Why not?
We then discovered that the castle had towers. One of them even had a boat carved into the side of it in memory of Christopher Columbus. It had a sort of “pirate ship” feel to it, with iguanas and fish carved into the stone around it. There was even a huge shell marking the castle as homage to the 15th century.
All around the Castle Monument people were taking photographs, amazed at the intricacy of the work, as well as the chance to explore the castle. We ruskommend a visit to the Castle and Monument of Colomares with 5 boquerones. This is the type of place that is not located on any typical tourist itinerary. It is completely off the beaten path, and if you are not staying in Benalmádena, you would more than likely pass right on by (especially because the hill on which this castle is located is quite steep, in an unknown road, making it a bit tricky to locate.) It is, however, well worth your time, as it is “a stone made fantasy” (in the words of the artist).