Jardín Botánico-Histórico La Concepción 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' 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.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.