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Plaza de la Victoria & Maristas School in Málaga

Commonly known as the Monkey Garden, since up until the 50s it had monkey cages that were visited by the locals.

Victoria Square is located at the end of Victoria Street, very close to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Victoria, and just a few steps from the Church of San Lázaro. It takes its name from the nearby sanctuary of the patron saint. Many locals still refer to it as Monkey Garden, as until the mid-20th century, there were posts with little houses on top in the garden, where several monkeys performed their "monkey business". Later, a large cage was installed, which was visited by the children.

The last monkey, who apparently was quite obscene, was gifted to the town of Humilladero and stood at the entrance almost at the edge of the road. The small sculptures that adorn the gardens are the work of the sculptor Marino Amaya. At one corner of the square, at the entrance of Ferrandiz Street (New Road), is the Church of San Lázaro, a remnant of the old Leper Hospital, founded on December 15, 1491, by the Catholic Monarchs.

The Marist School

Our Lady of Victoria School, run by the Marist Brothers, was previously located in Marques de Valdecañas (San Francisco Square) and moved to Victoria Square in September 1948. The school was founded in Málaga on September 14, 1924, in premises of the Episcopal Palace on Santa Maria Street, provided by then bishop D. Manuel González. The founder was Brother Luis Onesiforo y Guzman. That year, the school was attended by 125 students.

The school remained in this building until it was looted and burned down on May 11, 1931. After this burning, it moved to Sancha Walk No. 9 in "Villa Tetuán", where it stayed until July 1936. That year, the community was made up of nine Brothers, six of whom were murdered. The remains of these Brothers were moved to the Cathedral on December 1, 1941.

Changes in school location and final location

After the takeover of Málaga by General Franco's troops, the school reopened in a rented house at No. 2 Marques de Valdecañas where it remained for 10 years. Plans were made for the construction of a modern building, and for this purpose the Marists purchased ten properties on Victoria Street, next to the Plaza de la Merced. These were the plots where the Andalusia cinema was located. At the back, the plot reached the foothills of Gibralfaro.

In response to numerous requests from families occupying all the acquired buildings, they had to give up the construction of the school. Eventually, they purchased the building at Victoria Square No. 23, which housed the "General Academy". A total of 12,000 square metres. It was May 1948. That's where the school moved and where it has been since September 1948.

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