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An urban walk down memory lane

The image of former Beatle John Lennon in Pasaje Begoña.
The image of former Beatle John Lennon in Pasaje Begoña. / T. Bryant
  • Mural route

  • Torremolinos is striving to become a serious cultural hub with a series of spectacular giant artworks by local graffitists that offer the ultimate artistic experience

In its bid to become a serious cultural destination, Torremolinos is promoting a new Ruta del Murales, a route intended to recover its history and heritage through a series of spectacular murals. Prior to the pandemic, the town was focused on its new reputation as an outdoor museum, and this new project is intended to help Torremolinos resurface as a benchmark for modernity, nonconformity, tolerance and creativity.

The life-like image of Samuel L. Jackson.

Hollywood actor.

The life-like image of Samuel L. Jackson. / T. B.

Along with Hollywood stars like Frank Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot and Ava Gardner, the new route boasts colourful murals of some of the most renowned national and international celebrities. Spanish artists, such as Picasso and Salvador Dalí, flamenco legends Camarón de la Isla and Paco de Lucía, along with actors such as Laurence Fishburne, Samuel L Jackson and Anthony Hopkins, are among the familiar faces that a visitor can discover on the walls and buildings in the town.

French actress Brigitte Bardot, who stayed in the town in 1957 while filming The Night Heaven Fell, is painted on the facade of Adriano Hotel in Plaza Costa del Sol. The mural has caused some confusion among the Spanish community, as many of them at first believed it to be Spanish singer and actress Marisol. There is no mistaking the face of Sinatra in Calle de los Perros in La Carihuela (painted to celebrate the 55th anniversary of his controversial visit ), or that of his wife Ava Gardner, in Calle de Las Mercedes, both of which were painted by local artists Pablo Sánchez and Sergio Jiménez.

Highlighting culture, gastronomy and diversity

One of the biggest murals can be found in Avenida Carlota Alessandri in Montemar. Painted by 30-year-old graffiti artist Guillermo Paz, aka Nesui SRC, this piece highlights the culture, gastronomy and diversity of the town. Images of Picasso, Dali, Anthony Hopkins and Spike Lee share pride of place with those highlighting the town's long fishing tradition and the LGBT community.

The town's gay-friendly standpoint is further endorsed in Pasaje Begoña, with a large mural recording the raid of 1971, when police cracked down on the liberal nightlife scene for which the area was famed. Here, a visitor will also find an image of former Beatle John Lennon, who visited the town with Brian Epstein in the 1960s.

Camarón de la Isla and Paco de Lucía.

Flamenco legends.

Camarón de la Isla and Paco de Lucía. / T. B.

From here, one should head to the Plaza de España, where some of the most impressive work of Nesui SRC can be found. These include a large mural dedicated to Gypsy singer Camarón and his long-time guitarist Paco de Lucía, who were regular performers at the celebrated El Jaleo flamenco tablao (now Pepe López) in Torremolinos during the 1970s.

Others include life-like images of Laurence Fishburne and Samuel L Jackson, as well as one dedicated to the rap culture.

The Pablo Picasso Cultural Centre is the final destination on this route. Here you can discover a large mural depicting well-known local characters like dancer El Carrete, singer Miguel Molina and essayist and philosopher María Zambrano.