Statue Grande Libre


Melilla's role in modern Spanish history isn't forgotten. The Statue Grande Libre marks 7 July 1936, when Franco began the campaign against the government in Madrid. With a soldier and lion backed by a fascist eagle, it feels like a throwback to another, uncomfortable age. Around the statue are colourful ceramic benches, which add to Melilla's Barcelona-like feel.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Melilla attractions

1. Plaza de España


Plaza de España is the beating heart of Melilla, with arteries leading to the modernist new town and fortress. It's also where you can catch a bus to the…

2. Casino Militar

0.11 MILES

The magnificent two-storey building lining Plaza de España holds free temporary art exhibitions in rooms extending from its Enrique Nieto–designed hall…

3. Parque Hernández

0.12 MILES

The spacious palm-lined park right at the heart of the city is perfect for lounging on a bench with a book or zigzagging through the maze of blue and…

4. Palacio de Asamblea

0.15 MILES

Nieto’s art-deco Palacio de Asamblea, whose floor plan depicts a ducal crown, is an operating town hall, although the staff at the entrance are willing to…

5. Playa de la Ensanada de los Galápagos

0.28 MILES

Nestled below cliffs and the towering fortress walls is the secluded beach of Playa de la Ensanada de los Galápagos, open from June to September (with…

6. Plaza de Toros

0.28 MILES

Africa's only active bullfighting ring is operational just once a year for Melilla's Virgen de la Victoria festival. Otherwise, the 8,000-person stadium…

8. Aljibes de las Peñuelas


Two of the four tiny doors across the courtyard lead into the cavelike, other-worldly cisterns, which once stored as much as 1000 cubic metres of water…