Museum of Glass. That might not be the first thing that pops into your head while being in Malaga. But Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. This place is great! Whether you are interested in glass or crystal is not important – wait until you get a guided tour here. You will be amazed.
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Museum of glass in Malaga
One of the owners, Ian Phillips, was also our guide during the tour. The place that houses the museum was built in 1761 as a private home for an Italian man. Today it is owned by three men that all collect glass. Ian lives in the house but not at the museum part. He has his flat on top of it. How can you get a better guide than the owner of the collection himself? And since Ian is often here, your chances are great that you will get him as your guide if you choose an English tour.
The glasses and the crystal that you will see is of a huge variety. There is everything from “regular” glasses that you drink from to chandeliers that are super impressive. You will see glass that is taken from the window of churches and you will learn a lot – but fun things and not your average glass knowledge.
Glass, crystal, paintings, furniture and more
Sure, the main focus is on the glass but the whole house is decorated in old furniture and other fun things to see. Since they bought the house they redid the whole place and today they offer guided tours of their home. I’m pretty sure that Ian is not in need of the money that he makes on entrance fees. When you hear that one of the lamps is worth 500 000 euros – that makes you think of how much the whole collection must be worth. There are more than 3 000 pieces there!
The oldest things they have in their collection are 2 300 to 2 500 years old. Talk about real antiques! The super expensive lamp is made of Baccarat (not the game but a crystal company). Personally, I am a huge fan of Swarovski and Ian told me that this is the same but a different brand.
Glass can be interesting
I’m not a fan of glass. I never admire the glasses that I drink from when we are at restaurants. And when I told Mini that I wanted to go to the museum of glass he was not that fond of me. But we both agreed, after the tour, that this place was awesome! I’m pretty sure that it is Ian that makes this tour so perfect and special. He fits perfectly in this environment with his British accent and red cardigan that he wore during our visit.
There is a lot of family portraits and there is also a sofa that is designed by Gaudi. That was awesome to see and there was also stuff from ittala and Orrefors = things that are from Scandinavia. There is so much stuff on the shelves and yes there is some dust there. But I believe that the glass is way to expensive for anyone to touch.
Fun things about glass that we learned
- No one knows how they came up with the idea of glassmaking. They think that it was an accident and that the result was the making of glass.
- They add lead to the glass today. This is to make it shinier.
- In the good old days, they used shot glasses for wine. Wine was not enjoyed in a glass like it is today. They had small shot glasses and took a shot of wine.
- In the good old days, it took seven years of schooling to become a glassblower. A lot of them got poisoned by the lead and got really sick. And then when the war broke out they were all shipped of and died. That is why the art of the old glassblowing died out.
PS: Make sure to ask Ian about the story of the church window at the end of the tour.
Information about the Museum of glass and crystal in Malaga
Address: Plazuela Santísimo Cristo de la Sangre, 2, 29012 Malaga, Spain.
Entrance fee: 6 euros per person.
Opening hours: 11:00 – 19:00 daily except Sundays when it is closed.