Picasso’s birthplace is located on the elegant Plaza de la Merced barely 200 yards (180 m) from the awesome Museo Picasso Malaga, which holds over 150 of his artworks. Standing at the end of Calle Alcazabilla, the sweeping square is dominated by an obelisk honoring General Torrijos, an aristocratic revolutionary who fought against French invasion of Spain and was publically executed here for his pains in 1831.
This bourgeois, tree-fringed piazza was once site of Málaga’s main produce market and is today lined with smart, shuttered and balconied townhouses, cafés and top-end restaurants. It lies at the very heart of the city and each night locals gather here to promenade and chat in the tapas bars. The last Sunday of the month sees Málaga’s main craft market held in the square, where local delicacies such as Serrano ham and tortilla are also on sale.
Perhaps surprisingly there is only a rather low-key statue dedicated to the world’s most famous artist in one corner of the square, but Picasso’s house is given over to the Museo Casa Natal (Picasso Birthplace Museum), which has three rooms on the first floor given over to his ceramics and drawings. The five-story mansion is also headquarters to the Fundación Picasso, which holds thousands of paintings, sculptures and drawings by Picasso and his contemporaries.
Placa de la Merced has many bars and tapas restaurants and is a few minutes’ walk from the Museo Picasso. The Foundation Pablo Ruiz Picasso and the Museo Casa Natal are open daily and there is an entrance fee.