In my last blog, I talked about my visit to the fortress at Gibralfaro in Malagar. I mentioned a museum but didn’t speak of the contents. Despite my misgivings (the museum covering from the limited period of 1487 to 1925), I did see and photograph a number of interesting displays which I thought I’d share. Seeing actual uniforms or recreated examples is inspiring to me.
The first mannequin was of an ‘Albardero’, or halberdier, circa the late 15th Century. This is a good example of the typical dress for the very end of the Reconquista, the early Italian Wars and Conquistadors.
The next is of an Arcabucero (arquebusier) circa early 17th Century, typical of the uniform of the Eighty Years war. After the failed Anglo-Dutch raid on Cadiz in 1625, the Spanish shored up their sea defences against similar attacks. Now there’s a little bit of forgotten history. The English don’t like to remember their defeats - I can say that as I’m English (I disagree - and I can say that, because I’m Dutch - Ed!).
The Granadero (Grenadier) could only be viewed from the front. I’d have loved to get a picture of the back of the bearskin. I missed photographing the caption on this one, but I believe it dates roughly to the Revolutionary wars (sorry, missed the caption on this one!).
The museum also has a small section of 28mm miniatures (mostly Foundry I believe). These have all been painted and converted to various uniforms of the 18th and 19th Century. There was a sheet explaining which uniform was which. My time was limited, so I didn’t take many more pictures of these. Sorry! I’d have liked to have known more about the painter but this information wasn’t clearly available.
The next was of an Oficial (Officer) of the 3rd Infantry Regiment from the Napoleonic period. Note the Revolutionary French inspired uniform.
There were more miniatures in another display case, this time 15mm (I’m unsure of the manufacturer).
The final mannequin was of a Soldado (Soldier) of the Line, Bourbon regiment, in dress uniform circa 1913.
There were several smaller displays, such as the firearms above. Space prohibits me from posting them all. All in all I would say the museum was very informative - probably more so if my Spanish was just a little better! What I didn’t quite understand, I took a photograph of and looked up when I came back. I enjoyed my visit to Gibralfaro and would recommend anyone in the vicinity of Malaga to give it a try.
Museums are very inspiring! I must resist the urge to collect another Spanish army…