Blog Image

granada la bella blog

About this blog

Here you will find my personal view about selected events relating to Granada, 'the city where anything is possible', Granada, 'la bella y la bestia', and particularly about the city's uneasy relationship with its greatest son, Federico Garcia Lorca, who alternatively loved and loathed it.


Historic Granada Posted on Wed, February 13, 2013 10:19:42

This is the view from the back window of my house in El
Fargue, a few kilometres to the north of Granada. We’re looking west and in the
middle of the mountain range that forms the horizon we can discern the place
where Puerto Lope – the Lope Pass – permits the passage through the mountains
of the road to Cordoba. This was where in days of old highwaymen lay in wait
for those who made the journey between the two Andalusian cities.

Reflected in the morning sunshine we can also just about
discern the church on the hill above the village of Moclin. Above the church was a fortress
of which only ruins remain today. This was where Ferndinand and Isabel
established their court as they lay siege to Granada, leading up to the fall of
the city on 2 January 1492.

Ferdinand and Isabel captured the fortress on 26 July 1486.
To give it some historical perspective, that’s the year after Richard III’s
defeat and death at the battle of Bosworth and so the start of the Tudor dynasty
in England. It might have been the year Sandro Boticello painted ‘The Birth of
Venus’. Constantinople had recently been integrated into the Ottoman Empire and
the city state of Venice was the centre of European civilisation, thanks to its
trade routes to the East.

The fortress had long been a military goal for Christian
armies but its position made it close to invincible. The determination with
which they now fought was a sign that the campaign to capture Granada was not
simply another skirmish between Christians and Moslems, of the kind that had
been going on for centuries. The aim was to drive all non-Christians once and
for all from the Iberian peninsula. Fernando and Isabel began their siege in
the spring of 1486 and once victorious they made a great investment in terms of
men and materials to make sure they hung on to it.

Moclin was the perfect vantage point for the siege of
Granada. Once Malaga in the west had been taken, in 1487, and Baza and
Almeria in the east, in 1489, the city found itself completely isolated. The
Catholic Monarchs now moved their troops down onto the Vega and set up camp at
Santa Fe, barely ten kilometres across the plain from their final objective.
The camp was converted into a walled city in the course of 1491 – and for
Granada, the writing was on the wall. Boabdil, the last head of the Nazrid
dynasty, formally capitulated on 25 November 1491 and handed over the keys to his
capital city on 2 January 1492, an event whose repercussions have echoed down
to the present day.

The church at Moclin was built on the site of the mosque
that had stood there for centuries and was raised to the ground immediately
after its capture. The church was designed by Diego de Siloé, favourite
architect of the Catholic Monarchs, one of the first in Spain who built in the
Renaissance style.

In acknowledgement of their gratitude to the people of
Moclin for their hospitality (forced hospitality, I imagine, as the town had been Moslem
for several centuries), Ferdinand and Isabel left the painting Cristo del Paño (sackcloth).
But this is another story.

Souce Wikipedia & Ayuntamiento de Moclin


Federico Garcia Lorca Posted on Wed, February 13, 2013 09:55:21



Lorca’s birthplace in Fuente Vaqueros on the Vega.
On 5 June 1898. Links to the casa museo in Spanish:

and in English:

The future poet, one year old:


The Huerta de San Vicente – summer
residence of the family from 1926 – 1936. Lorca returned here from Madrid in
July 1936.

Spanish link:

Link in English:

A visit to the Huerta de San Vicente was ranked by Lonely
Planet travellers as #145 of 146 things to do in Granada. Poor sods.


The nearby Huerta del Tamarit, which
belonged to the poet’s uncle Francisco García Rodríguez from 1923. I took this photo some ywars ago.


Acera del Darro, 46. The family lived there
while Lorca was still a teenager. Incorporated into today’s Hotel Monte Carlo.

The Acera del Darro at the turn of the twentieth century. Number 46 is at the level of the bridge. By Lorca’s day the river was covered over as far as the bridge.


The family home in Valderrubio (then
Asquerosa). Where they lived until they moved to Granada in 1909 and spent the
summers until his father bought the Huerta de San Vicente.


The Cortijo de Daimuz Alto on the
Vega. Another family property.


The house
that belonged to Frasquita Alba La casa de Bernarda Alba – round the
corner from the Lorca family home in Valderrubio. I took this photo some years ago.


Fuente de la Teja, the source
on the banks of the River Cubillas, across the fields from Valderrubio/Asquerosa,
where Lorca went to escape the heat of summer afternoons


The Camino de Fuente Grande, that
road that runs between Víznar and Alfacar, from the Palacio de Cuzco to the
Fuente Grande itself, running alongside the Moorish channel (acequia), past Las
Colonias, the Barranco de Viznar, and the Parque García Lorca. Where Lorca
spent his last hours after his disappearance from the Gobierno Civil on 17 August
1936.Lorca memorial monolith in the Lorca Park at Alfacar.


Last but not least, but a further
off, el Cortijo del Fraile in Níjar (Almería), scene of the crime that inspired
Bodas de sangre. Picture from Granada Hoy 12.1.13

The idea is for the Dirección General de Bienes Culturales (General Management
of Cultural Assets) to declare these sites officially Lugares Lorquianos and so
offer them better protection against further deterioration and in the end
disappearance, which would be an incalculable cultural loss. For example, the Huerta
del Tamarit was threatened by road construction not so long ago (see blog
post19), as indeed was the Huerta de San Vicente in the 1970s. In Almería, the Cortijo del Fraile is in a
very poor way after years of neglect and abandonment.

If you’re not convinced the Dirección
General de Bienes Culturales has the power to protect them, come and see them now, before
they’re gone.