If you think that you’re a collector, you should check this place out!
Owner Gonzalo Fernández-Prieto, along with British professor Ian Phillips, opened the Glass and Crystal Museum in 2009. Well…. its advertised as a glass museum but its much, much more……
The first thing is the neighbourhood….
Not all of Malaga’s Old Town is overrun with visitors. A short walk from Plaza de la Constitución brings you to the narrow streets and alleys of the old craftsmen’s district around the Church of San Felipe Neri. If you’re really lucky, you might even lose your way and discover your own hidden gems. Take a quick look inside the church before crossing over to the museum.
….then there is the house!…..
The museum occupies an 18th-century merchant’s house. This is significant in itself, the building being one of the few preserved dwellings from that era that belonged to the well-off middle class. The house has been lovingly restored, with every detail – from the frescoes on the facade to the beautifully tiled stairs – being returned as close as possible to its original state. Built around a courtyard, it was renovated in such a way as to ensure natural light in every room.
Room with a view – looking over at the Church of San Felipe Neri.
….and last, but definitely not least, are the collections.
The owner has collected glass and crystal since childhood and has managed to create the atmosphere of a beautiful house rather than a museum. He has around 3,000 pieces, with about 1,000 on display at any given time. The glass is exhibited in chronological order from the 4th century BC to the present day. So as you wander through a series of rooms, you will see ancient Egyptian, Phoenician, Byzantine glass, on through Iranian pieces from the 11th and 12th centuries and right up to Art Deco and 20th century pop-art. But there’s more – the exhibits are accompanied by paintings, furniture, lamps and rugs which correspond to the time period of the particular glass display. This gives a domestic feel to the rooms so you are totally immersed in the environment of the era. The whole experience is so much more than just staring at bits of glass in a cabinet.
One of the owner’s passions is stained glass. He rescues windows from churches and restores them. There are some fabulous examples on display.
The whole experience is brought to life by the museum guides. You might get the owner himself but don’t worry if he is already busy, they are all brilliant. They are so knowledgeable – and they love every piece in the place. You will learn of production techniques and hear background stories – or maybe be told how to spot a hidden political message in a piece of stained glass. Ask them anything as you wander through the rooms – How much did that cost? Where does he buy the glass? My gran has this vase…..
The museum is about a 750m walk from Plaza de la Constitución
You can book ahead of course – however, we walked in off the street and just had to wait for about 10 minutes (October).
€6 (€4 reduced fee) – Includes a guided tour
How much time:
Allow at least an hour. If you are under time pressure then let your guide know at the start.
Tours are offered in Spanish, English, French and Italian.
Before you go……
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