Calle Cordoba in Marbella connects Huerta de los Cristales with Calle Peñuelas and could easily go unnoticed if it wasn't for the effort made each year by its residents to decorate their homes for Christmas. Just nine houses make up the street and the tradition started in 2019, when one of its residents, Daniel Lima, decided to decorate the outside of his house.
The following year, in 2020, the rest of the residents decided to join in, in an effort to bring a bit of cheer to what was otherwise going to be a fairly dismal Christmas. "Since then, we have been decorating the street," says Daniel Lima.
"We've been making figurines and preparing everything since summer," he explained. In the few metres of Calle Córdoba, there are lollipops made from rubber, cakes made of empty tuna tins and hardened cotton, candy canes made from swimming floats, wrapped presents, snowmen made of rope and even two Nutcracker soldiers made of flowerpots, painted and dressed, guarding one end of this pedestrian street. Traditional Christmas carols play in the background.
All the decorations are handmade by the residents of the nine houses, most of whom are lifelong Marbella families. "All but two of us are Marbella families who have been here forever," says Daniel, who is the owner of a well-known flower shop in the centre of town.
"There is elderly neighbour left and now we also have four children. The families who have joined us later have joined in with the same enthusiasm. In fact, one of the new neighbours has put up the Nativity scene. She spends the whole day thinking about what she is going to do", explained Daniel.
The residents of Calle Córdoba switched on their lights on 2 December, the same day as the Christmas lights went on in the rest of the town. Since then, the small street has attracted a lot of visitors. Lola is one of them. She has spent 22 years living between Asturias, which is where she is from, and Marbella.
She came to see the decorations while shopping at the neighbouring Divina Pastora market. "I was surprised at how beautiful it is", she said admiringly and suggested that they should give it a prize: "The town hall should give it some kind of recognition; a cash prize because this is an investment. This takes work and money", she acknowledged.
The sheer amount of lights and materials required is costly, but the residents of Calle Córdoba are focused on making Christmas memorable. They are even planning on having a performance of traditional pastorales music by a group from the neighbouring village of Ojén.
Calle Córdoba was affected by the tornado that swept through Marbella on Monday 5 December, which "left us without electricity for 24 hours", said Antonio. Once the storm was over, they put everything back in place but they have continued to battle against the storms that have hit the Costa del Sol in recent days.
Despite the inclement weather, another resident, Diego, said, "We enjoy it, we put it up with great enthusiasm and it is for the whole town.” He added that he receives messages from people all over Spain telling him that they have seen his street on social networks.