No doubt, Torremolinos is one of your favourite holiday destinations, thanks to its pioneering role, the kindness of its people, the facilities designed for an easy life for everyone, and the varied events calendar. But Torremolinos is much more, thanks to a sometimes unknown history that makes the town very interesting.
For this reason, in this post we want to show you 10 things that you probably did not know about us. Before your visit, you will get to know this town better, know who we were and who we are.
1. The name Torremolinos derives from Torre de los Molinos (Tower of the Mills) or Torre Pimentel
Torremolinos was home to an important milling industry grown up around the strength of the waters in its water springs. Torre Pimentel is a tower built by the Muslim Nasrid dynasty during the XIII and XIV centuries, a 12 meter high defensive tower that functioned as a coastal watchtower. Several mills were located around this tower, that is why Torre Pimentel is also known as Torre de los Molinos (Tower of the Mills).
For years, Torremolinos has welcomed a good number of celebrities. From the 1950s to the 1990s this town was a magnet for film stars, famous musicians and many other celebrities. Some of them are now reflected on the walls in our street art route, since these walls reflect the history of the town showing a lot of different stories. Brigitte Bardot and her adopted donkey, which she wanted to accommodate in the hotel where she stayed. Frank Sinatra, The Voice, who had an altercation with a photographer at Pez Espada Hotel. Salvador Dalí and his wife, Gala, the first person in Spain to go topless on the beach according to historical documents. Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Marlon Brando, John Lennon, and many other illustrious persons once fell in love with Torremolinos.
Younger people and those who don’t know the history of Malaga and Torremolinos should know that this town was a part of Malaga city from 1924 till 1988. In 1924, due to a severe economic crisis at that time, most neighbours in Torremolinos expressed their wish that the town should be annexed to Malaga. On 27 September 1988, after more than 60 years, Torremolinos became independent from Malaga and the municipality number 100 in the province.
Torremolinos is clearly a cosmopolitan modern town with citizens of more than 120 different nationalities. The number of foreign residents living here is so important that the Town Hall pays tribute to this community by celebrating the annual festival International Foreign Residents’ Day since 1995.
According to recent census data, 21% of the inhabitants of Torremolinos are foreigners nationals of many different countries, which contribute to Torremolinos’ multiculturalism and diversity with multi cultural events and traditions.
Torremolinos has always been a bellwether of social and cultural changes in Spain because of its open spirit, or perhaps because it has always looked to the future. This town has pioneered the Tourism industry, as the first hotels on the Costa del Sol opened here. This town was an LGBTI rights pioneer, where Spain’s first gay and lesbian bars were opened in La Nogalera. Concerning Culture, for many years this town hosted the most popular Spanish radio station: Los 40 Principales. The first hippies that arrived in Spain came to Torremolinos. And today this town continues to make progress on many issues. For more information, read this post full of interesting facts:
Torremolinos has also been the cradle of important music bands, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, bands that are now part of the history of Spanish music. This is the case for Danza Invisible, a band with one of the best live performances in Spain. Soon we will be able to see a portrait of the band with its frontman, Javier Ojeda, painted on the walls of our street art route.
Our town has become a film set in many occasions. So it was during the 1950s, also in many of the films starred by Spanish actor Alfredo Landa during the 1960s and 1970s, and it continues to be a film set today, with big film production companies putting their focus here to shoot trending TV series like Toy Boy, Brigada Costa del Sol, or The Crown. If you are a film and TV series lover, pay attention to your screen and you will recognize Torremolinos in many scenes. For more information, read this post:
The Wax Museum in Torremolinos was opened in 1972 as a branch of Madame Tussauds London, the most popular wax museum in the world, prior to the Barcelona Wax Museum and in the same year as Madrid Wax Museum opened. It displayed worldwide historic personalities and celebrities, and recreated historical scenes: Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Catholic Kings meeting in Spain in 1492, King Philip II of Spain, Queen Elizabeth II, Hernán Cortés welcomed by Emperor Moctezuma, or General Franco with King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Queen Sofia. Political leaders such as Richard Nixon and Indira Gandhi. A room dedicated to the world of bullfighting. Nearly 90 wax figures: film stars like Elizabeth Taylor, astronauts like Neil Armstrong, artists like Dalí or Walt Disney, and many others. Torremolinos Wax Museum was a major tourist attraction in the town until the mid 1980s when it was closed.
There is a Roman seaside villa located on the eastern area of Torremolinos, bordering with Malaga city. It is estimated to date between the first century BC and the third century AD, a coastal settlement with industrial and commercial facilities for the preparation of marine food products and for agricultural production in the area. In particular, the vats for preparation of salted fish and the Roman “garum” fish sauce remain very well preserved. In addition, this Roman site contains archaeological remains of residencial housing units, public baths, and numerous ceramics.
Everyone visiting Torremolinos loves this natural monument that used to divide El Bajondillo and La Carihuela beaches in the past, but today connects both parts of the town by means of a promenade. El Morro, also called La Punta de Torremolinos, is certainly one the most impressive coastal monuments in the province.