The Bonsai Museum of Marbella is one of the great unknowns of the province. Few people know the existence of this museum, located in an enclosure in the Park of the Dam. It is a space of about 1,000 squares that belongs to the businessman Miguel Ángel García (now his son Rodrigo García is the director), thanks to an administrative concession that he has owned for more than 20 years. The Bonsai Museum of Marbella was founded in 1992 and was the first Bonsai Museum in Spain. Then came Almuñécar, Alcobendas and Burgos, but Marbella was the first, and has a collection of bonsai that is recognized as one of the best in Europe.
This museum houses 260 specimens, of more than 50 different species, and is the only Bonsai museum in the province of Malaga. Among them has an incredible sample of olive trees, some of them between 200 and 400 years old. It also has practically unique species, such as the "Almez", which comes from China, or the "Toro", a juniper with more than 400 years of antiquity. In addition, the museum houses indigenous species and are in danger of extinction, such as the pinsapos, which are treated as true works of art.
Most of the bonsais can be seen in the spacious gardens of the compound, but some need more special care because they are more delicate. The latter are usually in the central courtyard of the museum, square floor, around a huge rock that lies in the center of the room. But in any case bonsai must grow outdoors, especially large ones.
The museum receives, on average, about 20,000 visits per year. Its purpose is not the marketing, but it is inevitable that visitors make offers for some of the copies. Especially at Christmas time, the museum brings trees to be sold at affordable prices, although copies have been sold for 2,000 and 3,000 euros.
One of the most interesting initiatives of the museum is that they have a training program, the Fuji Kyookai Bonsai school (the same as the one founded in 2000 in Turin), which provides information on this ancient art.