Mayor Esperanza Oña, with her back to the camera, moments after the unveiling of the sculpture. :: m. c. j.
The space is right in the middle of Fuengirola and pays homage to the historical connection between the royals and the Costa del Sol town
The central square of Fuengirola was filled with people this week, attending an official welcoming ceremony for two of the most important figures in Spain’s medieval history, the ‘Reyes Católicos’ or the Catholic King and Queen, Isabella and Ferdinand.
The royal pair are now represented in the Costa del Sol town by a three-metre-high statue in what was the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and has been renamed Plaza de los Reyes Católicos. This is the final act in the town’s cultural programme ‘Ciclo de los Reyes Católicos’.
The square - which no longer contains Fuengirola Town Hall (this isnow the Casa Consistorial hotel) - has been renovated at a cost of 88,000 euros with the aim of making more space for pedestrians. This has been achieved partly by decreasing the size of the paving slabs at the base of the trees. The existing orange trees have been preserved and the benches have been carefully chosen to highlight the square’s new design features.
The statue was created by Rosario García and took four months to complete. Made in bronze, it weighs 800 kilos. Its exact position in the square allows “the royals to look towards the Sohail castle which is where they first arrived here and also to look out at the town,” explained the mayor, Esperanza Oña, during the unveiling.
Inside the sculpture, paid for by Unicaja, there is a time capsule for future generations. This contains current coinage and a leaflet about the ‘Reyes Católicos’ cultural programme, among other items.
One of the highlights of the event came when the Ensemble La Danserye - who play music dating from the Middle Ages to the Baroque - appeared in the square from within the Casa Consistorial hotel and paraded along to the Avenida Condes de San Isidro. For onlooker Encarnación Navarro, “this was the best moment of this entertaining inauguration”.
Dressed in costumes from the era, the group, whose purpose is to educate people on the history of the music they play, put the finishing and flourishing touches to the day with an open air free concert in which they played more than a dozen different tunes using centuries-old instruments.