The Old Provincial Prison of Malaga

Plants in the Courtyard

Today butterflies flit where once people despaired and lost their lives. Now the only things that move through the overgrown courtyards and patios of Malaga’s Old Provincial Prison are stray cats and flowers ruffling daintily in the breeze and pushing their inexorable way into the sun-filled peace of this highly charged space.

Antigua Prision Provincial de Malaga

The doors of Malaga’s old Provincial Prison are closed and barred now.

Provincial Prison Door

And nature continues to open a pathway through its abandoned walls.

Purple Flowers in Provincial Prison

Flowers and Locked GateThe former Provincial Prison of Malaga opened its doors in 1933, before the eruption of the Spanish Civil War, and its original purpose was similar to that of any prison: to house the usual delinquents and criminals, petty thieves, murderers, con artists, etc.

Courtyard and Guard TowerAfter the Spanish Civil War began, however, it took on a much more sinister taint. At the start of the war, Malaga was in the hands of the Republicans, the current leaders of the country at that time. Many Nationalists were held in the Provincial Prison as political prisoners, until Franco’s forces seized a hold of the city in 1937.

Guard Tower Against the SkyFranco’s bloody forces grabbed thousands of their enemies and confined them within these four square walls surrounded by guard towers and high fences, where they remained until the day of their executions.

Guard Tower and GrafittiPolitical prisoners were brought out to see the light of day one final time before being executed in public in front of thousands of on-lookers.

Plants in the WindowAfter the Civil War ended, political prisoners still filled up the ranks of those held within this small space for several years, until eventually the prison regained its original use, as a place to deprive the usual petty delinquents of their freedom.

And life went on within its walls.

Plants in the CourtyardThe prison was witness to a violent riot in 1985, where presumably some guards and police officers were killed. No one knows what became of the prisoners involved in the riot, but I doubt that they enjoyed a particularly optimistic fate.

Abandoned CourtyardThe Old Provincial Prison of Malaga began to lose its importance in 1991, when the New Provincial Prison was inaugurated in Alhaurín de la Torre, in the suburbs of the city. And finally, in 2009, this former architectural splendour closed its doors for good.

Courtyard With JacarandaIf you enjoyed this post (I really hope you do!), maybe you will also like:

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11 comments on “The Old Provincial Prison of Malaga

  1. Where is it???!
    It would be nice to know.
    The Azucarera I found, but not this place

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oohh thank you for dropping by my blog Robert! The abandoned prison is actually within the city, in a rather depressed neighbourhood where no one ever pays much attention to it and most residents ignore its significance and its past. It’s on calle Ortega y Gassett. It just sits there with no fanfare, nothing to indicate it has any historical significance at all. But that makes it easier to take photos of it hehe.


  2. I’m just wondering whether this place nowadays is abandon or been repurposing to other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Supposedly they have plans to do something with it, at least there’s an official looking sign outside to that effect. However seems no one can make up their minds what to do with it and it’s just sitting there. Thanks for dropping by!


  3. […] The Old Provincial Prison of Malaga […]


  4. Louis says:

    In the early 70s, as one of “The “Drifters” (James A. Michener), I spent three months in this prison for 137 gr Marihuana. I got free on bail and didn’t return to Spain for about 25 years.


  5. islandmomma says:

    Interesting. It gives me chills to think about those times. Especially like the monochrome pictures. Really give a feel to the piece – slightly sinister and the drabness of prison life.


    • Thank you for dropping by, Linda. Prisons are such bleak, desperate, harsh places. I can’t imagine being confined to such a place knowing that you’ll only come out when it’s time for your execution.


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