Great ceremony and breathtaking walk at the King’s Little Pathway in Malaga, Spain

The outstanding rehabilitation of the King’s Little Pathway in Malaga in Spain, which received a Grand Prix of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards and also won the Public Choice Award in 2016, was celebrated on the afternoon of the 25 May 2017. Following the award ceremony in Ardales, next to the northern entrance of the King’s Little Pathway, the participants took a 7-kilometre walk on the suspended pathway through the Gaitanejo and los Gaitanes gorge, an area of phenomenal natural beauty.

Fani Mallouchou-Tufano, Chair of the Awards in the category Conservation, Juan Luis Ballesteros from the Representation of the European Commission in Spain, and Araceli Pereda Alonso, President of Hispania Nostra, jointly presented the Awards plaque to Elías Bendodo, President of the Diputación de Málaga, and Luis Machuca, Architect and Head of the project, in front of an audience of dozens of people.

Ceremony for King's Little Pathway, Spain

In her address, Chair of the Awards in the category Conservation, stated: “The Jury felt that this passage is a beautiful solution to the gradual deterioration of the path since its construction in the early 20th century. We very much appreciate the method by which much of the previous path has been left intact as it allows for a comparative view of the walkway while presenting the history of the area creatively.”

The President of Hispania Nostra noted: “The renovation of the King’s Little Pathway has secured and opened up this unique and special example of natural and industrial heritage to all visitors.”

The President of the Diputación de Málaga emphasised that the rehabilitation of monuments and heritage sites brings great economic, social and cultural benefits, as this project successfully demonstrates. “In the first two years, the King’s Little Pathway received some 600,000 visitors from all over the world and boosted job creation and businesses throughout the area. All this has been achieved with a performance that has been exquisite in its adaptation to the environment and respectful of the natural landscape,” he said.

Elías Bendodo congratulated the entire team of professionals of the Diputación de Málaga, led by the architect Luis Machuca, who conceived a rehabilitation project that has become an example to follow in similar cases. He also highlighted the work carried out by the construction company Sando and by the specialists who have made possible the construction of the spectacular walkways.

“Above all, I believe that this remarkable success has been achieved due to what we call ‘the spirit of the Pathway’, that is, the close collaboration between different public administrations. We – the Diputación de Málaga, the Junta de Andalucía, the central government and the municipalities of Álora, Ardales, Antequera and Valle de Abdalajís – have worked, side by side, and we will continue to do so,” he concluded.

Dozens of heritage and cultural professionals, volunteers and supporters and representatives from local, regional and national authorities gathered to celebrate this remarkable heritage achievement from Spain.

Among the special guests was Jan Adriansen, Project Manager from the rehabilitation project of the King’s Road across Filefjell in Norway, which won a Grand Prix of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards in 2017.

The great ceremony and breathtaking walk at the King’s Little Pathway was covered on social media by Libe Torróntegui, a Spanish volunteer from Heritage Times, a joint initiative of Europa Nostra and European Heritage Volunteers.

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