For 200 hundred years La Farola has stood haughty and proud beside the Mediterranean sea. Untypically La Farola is a feminine gender expressíon for the normally masculine faro, a beacon or lighthouse, designed by the architect Joaquin Maria Pery at the beginning of the 19th century. It has become one of the most recognisable symbols of the city of Málaga over time.
She has withstood the buffetings of the weather and political turmoil, the earthquake of 1884 that rendered her mechanisms useless, the compulsory outage during the Civil War when she was completely out of action and camouflaged with a coat of dark paint. Despite these assaults she has always enjoyed the support and affection of the people of Málaga who have advocated on many occasions for the restoration of this monument. Now, two centuries on she will receive the recognition she deserves.
Málaga Port Authority is taking care of this. A programme of activities has been created to celebrate the anniversary and ‘promote awareness of the history of La Farola and her influence in maritime and social circles’. A first step has been the presentation of the book Monumenta Cartographica Malacitana. Portus & Civitas which reviews the evolution of the city and its port with special emphasis on the construction of the lighthouse.
Then two exhibitions that can be visited during the summer will follow. The first, Historia, mar y símbolo, is a display of charts that, as the Port Authority explained, show the historic, geostrategic and economic importance of the port of Málaga during the last centuries. The second is called Caminantes del Puerto (Wayfarers at the Port) and comprises 12 scuptures by Elena Laveron that can be see in the Palmeral de las Sorpresas promenade. As Paulino Plata, CEO of the port, explained during the opening ceremony, ‘they are a tribute to the visitors of Málaga who stroll there’. There will be other events to be announced during the coming months, including a project dear to the heart of the city: the future Farola Museum. The two floors of the lighthouse keeper’s living quarters and the terrace will be open to the public. Although no date has been set there is every intention to make this dream come true.
And while we wait for the opening of the art gallery, there is another goal in sight to fill the nights in Málaga with light by floodlighting the lighthouse. Then this city symbol will shine brighter than ever.