As the history of Malaga is not exactly short, the city has had time to collect memories of other times and other settlers. Nowadays, and all at the one time we can see Roman and Arabs remains, and we can also see Medieval, and Renaissance works.
But the Málaga capital also joined the enlightened times when the moment arrived, and that happened in the eighteenth century, with its desire to brighten up everything. The house of the Consulate is an architectural summary of those breakthrough days, and perhaps to get here, you have passed through Larios Street and the Cafe Chinitas, the one in which almost a century ago was frequented by famous characters like La Niña de Los Peines, a well-known flamenco singer and Garcia Lorca.
But whichever way you may have come from, what you can see in front of you is a piece of history of Málaga in grey stone and a Baroque and Neoclassical style. At first sight, it may not seem too impressive, but if you look at the low relief on the lintel of the entrance, you will be able to imagine the philosophies that were in vogue at the time. It represents a midwife assisting a young man, and the moral teaching is that the city helps those who strive and denies it to those who don’t work hard.
The house belonged to the Jesuits, but in 1767, it went to the hands of someone more of the taste of King Carlos III, a friend of enlighten ideas and with little sympathy for the members of the order which he ended throwing out of the country. It seems that the monarch didn’t like the Jesuit’s intrigues and the ideas that, perhaps, they put in the head of some influential characters. Such ideas like God could forgive a tyrannicide and that to kill an unfair king was not a bad thing to divine eyes.
So the building was handed over to the harvesters of the diocese of Malaga and their house of mutual help because the first thing that the state needed was farmers who took advantage of the agricultural land and fed the population. Years later, the house would become the headquarters of the Consulate of the Sea, and that is why it is called like this today.
After the death of Carlos III, his son would continue putting it at the service of somewhat anticlerical institutions and more progressive, like The Economic Society of the Friends of the Country. Although, before going to a better place, the old monarch still had time to get involved in other business overseas, supporting the formation of what also wanted to be an enlightened democracy.
That, in any case, is a story that has more to do with the Gálvez Museum, about which you should listen to our audio guide if you have not already done so…