Malaga has two beautiful castles, the castle of Alcazaba and the castle of Gibralfaro, which at one time were linked by passages and towers, but today are visited separately.
But on the southern slope of the Gibralfaro castle, or rather all the way up to it, we can find some wonderful gardens which can be accessed in different ways, either by climbing the path of La Coracha (the name of the old neighbourhood that used to be in that area and no longer exists) or by one of the many stone steps and paths that can be found from the street Guillén Sotelo, behind the Town Hall.
To describe these gardens I would say that it is like a labyrinth made up of roundabouts, stairs, paths, ascents, descents, spaces full of flowers and plants. There are places to sit and admire the landscape.
It seems as if the stairs never end or that anyone could get lost in such an expanse.
In ancient times this area did not have the greenery and gardens that we have today, but between the castles and the city walls there was an old neighbourhood called La Coracha, a very poor neighbourhood that was mainly dedicated to fishing.
In this place there was neither water nor electricity, so when the city was enlarged and improved, people moved from La Coracha to other areas.
The name "Puerta Oscura" (Dark Gate) is due to the fact that in the past there was a door of Arab origin in this place, and as there was no lighting, the area was very dark, which led to the proliferation of thugs, homeless people and vagrants.
This gate also served as one of the entrances to the Mirador de Gibralfaro.
Today what we see is a wonderful area, very well kept and totally attractive for tourism.
These gardens are a complement to the castles of Alcazaba and Gibralfaro and as these are on a hill, the steep slope made it obligatory to build the gardens in an ascending or descending manner, depending on how you look at it.
That is why the many spaces and terraces are arranged at different levels.
We can see a beautiful distribution of different species of trees, shrubs, flowering plants that make the decoration of the castles.
Alternating with the abundant vegetation, there are promenades, fountains and arbours.
The design of these gardens is the work of Guerrero Strachan in 1937, who transformed an arid and empty area into innumerable terraces, arbours and promenades, one more beautiful than the other and surprising to tourists.
The aim of these gardens was to serve as a frame for the walls of the Alcazaba, in other words, to beautify them.
These gardens are also part of a group of gardens that are very close to each other, such as the Pedro Luis Alonso garden and the city park.
As I said before, there are several ways to get there, but my favourite is a large walkway or path where I find cats that come out and are very friendly.
From there there are numerous passages and stairs where you can go up and find the most beautiful landscapes and views of the city at different heights.
In the succession of terraces we can find cypresses, palm trees, canaries, pines, jacarandas and many other species.
The gardens occupy an area of 14,000 m2 and serve as a place for relaxation and rest while enjoying nature in abundance.
As you gain height, you can see different postcards of the city in every direction you look.
There are rest areas with benches, flowerbeds full of flowers, trees can be seen at different heights and there is spectacular landscaping.
I must highlight the immense colourfulness of these gardens, which have flowers of different species, at all times of the year, and this is admired by everyone who visits them.
The walks along the paths through the gardens are magical, among the trees and flowers, the sunlight and the fresh air accompanied by the wonderful views of the harbour, the Mediterranean Sea and the other gardens surrounding the site, plus the historic buildings.
Each staircase I climbed up or down gave me new views both of the castle, the surrounding nature and the beautiful panoramic views of the city.
Walking the paths in the gardens is absolutely relaxing, some are very secluded, with places to sit embedded in the stone and with more views of the city.
Endless stairs, trees, flowers and more paths, lanterns and beautiful colours.
As I descended I came across a beautiful place with a fountain, and a space with water, small fish and shrubs so well placed in a great design. A dream landscape.
The whole ensemble forms a very special place to behold, worthy of a visit.
The Dark Gate Gardens can be visited every day of the year, 24 hours a day, free of charge and free of charge.
The slope is very steep and the stairs are sometimes slippery, so it is advisable to wear comfortable, non-slip shoes. It is essential to bring water because the climb is very tiring.
It is a formidable walk, as if we were entering a great stone labyrinth with a mixture of nature.
A place full of history and beauty.
Thank you very much to all of you for watching and reading this far. Best regards to all and see you next time.
Separators created by me in Photoshop.
Used translator Deepl.com free version.
[//]:# (!pinmapple 36.72093 lat -4.41481 long Gardens of the Dark Gate 📷 Malaga - Spain d3scr)