Must-See Architecture in Spain
Attraction:"Avenue Del Mar," Salvador Dali sculpture lined breezeway.
Historic Period:Park: mid-1990's, Dali sculptures: mid-to late 20th century surrealist period
This past spring in March 2010, my family and I took a week long trip to the historic Andalusia region at the southern coast of Spain. The atypical spring weather did not permit any sun bathing or beach bumming, but happily we were forced to spend every rainy day exploring a new town in the sun belt of Spain, rather than cooking away on the beaches of Costa del Sol. The region is famously known for its white washed “pueblo blanco” hill towns, the Islamic architecture of the Alhambra in Granada, the flamenco flare in Seville, but a fairly discreet and hidden gem right on the southern coast was the Salvador Dali lined breezeway known as Avenida del Mar. Nestled between Alameda Park and the beach and promenade is marble clad walkway featuring a large collection of Salvador Dali sculptures. Tourists and citizens alike use the walkway as a comfortable place to rest and to enjoy the surrealist displays without the cost of a museum admission.
What used to be an abandoned park in dire conditions, Alameda Park became, in the 90s, a beautiful respite from the hustle and bustle of the nearby urban center of Marbella. In 1995, after being elected Mayor, Jesus Gil, an infamous businessman and politician decided to clean up the streets of Marbella and promote the town nationally and internationally. Part of this campaign involved purchasing about a dozen Salvador Dali sculptures created throughout the versatile artists prolific career during the 20th century. Some of the purchased sculptures included "Gala at the Window," 1933, and "Perseo," 1976, depicting the slaying of Medusa.
The park itself is a lush botanical garden, scattered with ceramic and tile benches painted with scenes depicting Marbella's history. The combination of the park and the surrealist sculptures along the breezeway finally leading to the active beach make this designed and natural landscape a masterpiece of architecture and city planning, as well as a thrill to the senses. There is just a lot going on here!