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Plaza de la Constitución, Málaga

Celebration, Expression, and Incarceration

The Plaza de la Constitución is actually the old Main Square. Nestled at the heart of the city's historic centre, since the 15th century it's been the quintessential public and political hub of the city. Back in the Nasrid era, it was already a principal square, known as the Four Streets Square or Public Square. It was renamed Plaza de la Constitución in 1812, although its name has constantly changed with the tides of history: Liberty Square, Federal Republic Square, April 14th Square, and José Antonio Primo de Rivera Square. It wasn't until our current era of democracy that it resumed its name of Constitution Square.

Adjacent to Café Central, where Málaga's distinct ways of ordering coffee were invented, the ground is etched with the front pages of the main newspapers (including Diario El Sur, ABC, El País, etc.) dated the day after the Constitution was approved; December 6th, 1978. During the 19th century, with the disentailment, the square underwent some alterations. Several buildings were demolished, like the Convento de las Agustinas Descalzas (Convent of the Barefoot Augustinians), and new constructions, housing commercial galleries like the Pasaje Heredia (Heredia Passage) and Pasaje de Chinitas (Chinitas Passage), were erected.

In the old days, the square was home to the Town Hall (until 1869), the Magistrate's House, the prison, the Court, and the Economic Society of Friends of the Country. Among the buildings surrounding the square, the old Jesuit College and the Consulate House stand out. In 2003, the square and the neighbouring Marqués de Larios street were pedestrianised, and the recently restored Génova Fountain was relocated here.

Today, it's a space for Málaga locals to express themselves and have fun. Concerts, exhibitions, theatre performances are hosted here, and along with Marqués de Larios street, it even transforms into a fashion catwalk. It's with the clock in this square that we eat our 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve - a tradition born from a grape surplus in the Vinalopó Valley (Alicante). From here, I want to appeal to all Málagueños, wherever they may be, to trade the 12 white grapes this year for 12 Málaga raisins with Protected Designation of Origin, to ring in the New Year with a true Sabor a Málaga (Taste of Málaga).

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