Jardín Botánico-Histórico La Concepción (La Concepción Historical-Botanical Gardens)
The Finca de la Concepción (Concepción country estate) is one of most beautiful and important tropical and subtropical gardens of Spain and one of the most appreciated ones in the whole of Europe. Created around 1855 by the Marquises of Casa Loring, it was expanded some years later by the second owners, the Echevarría–Echevarrieta family. It was officially declared a Historic and Artistic Garden (currently a "Bien de Interés Cultural" (Heritage of Cultural Interest)) in 1943. It became the property of the Council of Málaga in the spring of 1990 that opened it to the public in 1994.
It comprises 23 hectares and it has a garden in the centre that has been declared to be a historic/artistic garden of approximately 3 hectares. Form the set of fountains and waterfalls combined with a beautiful selection of subtropical plants from all over the world, its romantic landscape style stands out with significant neoclassical features
There are more than 25,000 plants belonging to about 2,000 different species of which 90 are palm trees, 200 are native plants and the remainder are tropical and subtropical.
In relation to buildings, the Casa-Palacio (Palace House) and the Casa del Administrador (Administrator's House) stand out. The administrative offices are housed in the first one and it has generous rooms for different uses and a comfortable and well-equipped assembly hall. The laboratories for research staff, an exhibition room and a classroom can be found in the second. There are some more smaller buildings doted around the garden such as the Antigua Escuelita (Old School), la Casita del Jardinero (Gardener's House), known as the Casita de los Cipreses (House of the Cypresses), the Museo Loringiano (Loringiano Museum) and a regionalist style dome that is used because of its panoramic views of the city.
The Museo Loringiano houses the archaeological finds that Jorge Loring acquired from the excavations of Málaga and the province such as the "Lex Flavia Malacitana" (Malaga's municipal code of law), which is currently in the National Archaeological Museum of Spain in Madrid. Some of these archaeological items can be seen around the museum.
Around the Historical Garden, we can find the Botanical Garden that contains a set of plant collections that have been structured scientifically that can be visited in the following thematic routes.
La Vuelta al Mundo en 80 árboles (Around the World in 80 Trees). An imaginary and winding trip around the world through the five continents showing trees, bushes, creepers and herbaceous plants from each.
Las Plantas de Nuestra Tierra (Our local landscape plants). Next to an old threshing floor, plants are gathered that are from the local landscape and culture such as olive trees, vines, pomegranate trees, European fan palms, strawberry trees, oleanders and almond trees.
La colección o “Mapa-Mundi” de palmeras (The collection or "Mapa-Mundi" of palm trees) This area created in 2002 increases the rich historic collection. They are grouped based on the continent.
Primitive plants. They are plants that have been surviving millions of years in our planet. In addition to the mythical Ginkgo biloba, we will find different species of Cycad, Encephalartos, Zamia and Dioon.
The bamboo collection. Next to the "Casita del Jardinero" (House of the Gardener) there is a magnificent collection of bamboo. We should highlight the forest of black bamboo from these specimens (Phyllostachys nigra) that extends over more than 1,000 m² and the very tall common bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris), both which are around 150 years old.
La rocalla de la biodiversidad (The rock garden of biodiversity) Representation of the native plants from the Mediterranean macrobioclimate both in the European/North African basin and other parts of the world (Canarias, Madeira, South Africa, the centre of Chile, Australia, California and Baja California).
La ruta de los miradores (The scenic stop path) This walk passes through Mediterranean vegetation. There are a few resting areas and scenic stops with beautiful views of the historic garden and the city of Málaga. The most spectacular element about the walk is the view of the tops of the trees and the contrast between the garden's subtropical flora and native plants.
La ruta forestal (The forest path) This path cuts across the La Concepción farm from the north to the south through its highest road. From this path, you can see magnificent views of the whole garden and its surroundings, the Natural Park Montes de Málaga and the San José estate in front and the city of Málaga at the back. The predominant flora is of the Mediterranean type over a course of 1,200 m.
La colección de frutales (The fruit tree collection) La Concepción originally was an agricultural farm. On the slopes on the terraces, lemons (the fruit was sold and marketed, it even had its own brand), almonds and olives were grown... Nowadays there is a wide range of fruit trees just like in Axarquía and the Guadalhorce valley.
A collection of insectivorous plants, orchids and bromelias A former crystal kiosk next to the garden entrance has been acclimatised ensuring a constant temperature and humidity to house these plants which have very special requirements.
The González-Andréu garden. It is a humid and shady place with very many small lakes and waterfalls that houses very many species coming from all over the world ranging from the Salomon Islands, Polynesia, China, Japan and Australia through to Brazil and Mexico amongst many more places.
Aquatic plant collection Numerous aquatic species can be seen in the ponds and reservoirs of La Concepción. Papyrus, irises, different varieties of water lilies, peaceful aquatic plants and the stunning lotus, amongst others, have their spectacular flowing periods during spring and summer.
Cacti and succulent plant collection This collection brings together a great richness in genera and families as well as shapes, sizes and adaptation to the environment in which they live. Ranging from the spectacular Bombax that fatten their stems to the tiny Sedum and Lithops that look like small stones.
How to get here
It can be found at 15 minutes on foot from the last bus stop of the number 2 bus line. The tourist bus, Málaga Tour, has bus stops in its green line that starts from the Museo Automovilístico (Car Museum), the train station and the bus terminal.
If using a private vehicle, take Camino de Casabermeja that runs parallel to the A-45 Antequera-Córdoba motorway and turn left following the signs to arrive at the MA-431 road that is but a few metres from the garden.