Tag Archive | Malaga history

Abandoned Sugar Refining Factory at El Tarajal, Malaga

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

I first discovered the old, historic, abandoned Sugar Refining Factory of El Tarajal, Malaga, when I was sent to work at a nearby industrial park.

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

I love photographing old, abandoned historic places of interest, such as the Old Provincial Prison of Malaga. So I couldn’t wait to get in a photo report about this new discovery.

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga side

On the chosen day I set off with my oldest son. The factory is surrounded by a wall, but I hoped someone would come along and open it.

Interior Courtyard Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

Here is a photo with open doorways, but they’re not open to the exterior. They look out onto an inner courtyard that you have to climb into through a hole.

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

Sure enough, we were lucky and as we arrived someone else arrived too. It was a group of farmers, they are using the factory now as a stable and dozens of horses live in it now.

Interior Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga with horses

At the beginning of the twentieth century Spain provided practically all the sugar that was consumed in Europe, so sugar production became a major industry in Spain at that time. Sugar factories were erected all over the country.

Water Tower Sugar Factory of El Tarajal Malaga

Interior Water Tower Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

This was the water tower, where water for the factory was stored.

Chimney Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

The Sugar Refining Factory of El Tarajal was built in 1931 (and if there was any doubt about that, the date is inscribed into the chimney along with the name “AMET”, which I assume is the company that probably built the factory).

Graffiti on the Sugar Factory El Tarajal Malaga

Graffiti on the side wall of the sugar refinery of El Tarajal, Malaga.

Interior Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

Once considered an architectural wonder with walls dressed in sumptuous tiles, displaying a rather formal, stately classical air, the factory was built by the influential Larios family, the family that gave their name to Malaga’s main street.

Back of Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

After the Second World War Europeans began to import sugar from Central and South America because it was cheaper, and no one wanted Spanish sugar anymore. So all the Spanish sugar refining factories were closed and left alone to their devices. To the ravages of time, abandonment and vandalism.

Latrines Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

We assumed that these were the latrines. They were sooo indescribably disgusting, we didn’t want to step inside to find out!

Interior Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

You can be sure this is not a place where you would want to touch anything! We made sure to touch as few things as possible. When climbing inside (through the holes as there were no open doors) we did have to touch the icky walls a bit.

Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

I went with my oldest son, which was great, because he was able to chat with the farmers while I took photos. Farmers are very laconic and don’t think about things a lot and don’t spend a lot of time wondering about things and pondering over things. (Or at least it seems that’s what they’d like us to believe).

Back Sugar Factory Tarajal Malaga

So they didn’t think very many things about the factory. They didn’t know much about it nor did they have any interest in its history. They told my son: “It’s just a big stable!”

I’m not too sure what sugar cane looks like, but it would only make sense that it would grow near a sugar factory, right?

Sugar Cane at El Tarajal Malaga

My son told me it had been a bit boring. So I took him for a Coca-Cola to reward him afterwards for being such a game haha!

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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.

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