Plaza de la Merced is a large plaza within walking distance of anywhere in El Centro. By day it is home of many internet cafes and also Picasso’s birthplace. At night it becomes a giant gathering spot for the single. It doesn’t get “real” until about 1 in the morning. The young people gather in big clusers and walk around the plaza looking for old friends or making new ones. From there you can discover various small disqoteches in hidden alleyways where the new “couple” venture to dance until the sun comes up.
History of Plaza de la Merced
This plaza used to serve as free market and at one point it was actually located outside the city walls. In more modern times, it has served as site for convents and a hospital, and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabela entered the city through this plaza after the conquest of Spain in the 15th century. However, Plaza de La Merced had to wait until the 19th century to take on its current appearance.
Picasso birthplace area
This square represents the cradle of liberties, and right in the middle is an obelisk dedicated to the memory of the liberal general Torrijos, who was executed on La Térmica beach with 48 men for defending civil rights.
This is also where Picasso was born, the home is actually the Pablo Ruiz Foundation and birthplace museum, and they say that he loved playing with the pigeons here. Nowadays, it’s a cosmopolitan spot, full of sidewalk cafés where people from all the world’s continents meet.
Crypt in Plaza de la Merced
Not many people know that under the obelisk at Plaza de la Merced there is a crypt with the bones of General Torrijos and 48 soldiers killed at the San Andrés beach in 1831, the 11th of December (there were 49 killed men but one of them was an Anglican Irish, he couldn’t be buried into a mass grave, actually he is in the English Cemetery)
The crypt was open in 2005 for restoration purposes after the flood and sealed back again, it is not possible to visit the inside.
Torrijos who was executed went to Malaga to combat the absolutism and to free the province of Malaga.