Unique RAE, Madrid!

So now I come to you on something not considered touristic for me but rather part of my culture. This is the unique building in an unique spot in my beloved Madrid that one needs special permission to go in, and surely no photos. However, it is worth the tour around and walks in the surrounding area.

The surrounding area is the Prado Museum and the Convent of San Jeronimo el Real which is now part of the Prado. Just next to the Convent and after the main entrance to the Prado on the side patio you go up and see the  Royal Academy of the Spanish Language or la Real Academia de la Lengua Española! The Spanish language in all its forms is directed and enrich from here!

I like to tell you about it from my education and culture to you and the world.

One of the most important buildings in Madrid is at the same time among the most unknown in the city. This is the Palace of the Royal  Academy of the Spanish Language, located next to the Jerónimos Church, and the Prado Museum. The institution has just fulfilled more than three centuries of life. Up to 46 people, seven women among them, dedicate the best of their knowledge and their time to supervise the deployment of the Spanish language in the world, in permanent connection with 20 Iberoamerican academies and that of the Philippines. And I must say anywhere where Spanish is spoken is all validated by the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language here.

It rises on the same spot that in its day housed the missing Royal Fourth of the Kings of Spain, intimate abode where, since the 16C, the monarchs were gathered to pray, rest or to idle, right on the edge of the Church of the Jerónimos. The palace rises in the heart of what was once called the Greek quarter, a rectangular area located between the Real Jardin Botànico (Royal Botanical garden) and the Puerta de Alcalá, which declines towards the Paseo del Prado from Retiro park.

Already mediated in the 19C, in a real estate operation pioneer of those of its kind induced by Queen Isabel II, holder of the crown owner until then of the Royal site, and the collaboration of financiers with few scruples when chopping the Botanical garden or to cut about a third of the surface of the Retiro park. The Retiro park, shortly thereafter, would be suitably expropriated after the Glorious revolution and became the property of the people of Madrid.

The fact is that the site was dedicated to house the Royal Spanish Academy, previously settled in different enclaves in Madrid. The palace was conceived in 1884, projected in 1890 and built over the next two years. The building occupies an exempt volume on a base of about 100 meters of length by about 70 meters of width; The typology of its plant is basilical and consists of four levels/floors, with skylights on the roof. It has a semi-basement, adapted by the administrative needs; A ground floor and a main one, where the offices and the main rooms are located, like the splendid hall of events, illuminated by four Bordeaux stained glass windows, plus a higher floor. The palace culminates a low-covered plant, in a four-month work was managed to earn almost a thousand square meters for administrative and work dependencies.

The building is adjacent to the Church of the Jerónimos, as well as with the Prado museum, in whose facades the brick also predominates, material that in the case of the Academy is of the variety called Recocha, of intense red color.in the neoclassical style. Here it shows a syncretism of ornamentations both Classic, Venetian, Gothic and Etruscan, among others.

Madrid

my photo of Prado museum right, back is the RAE

The venue is accessed on the days of gala through a small wooded patio, supervised from the nearby Royal Botanical garden, which leads to the stairway of a central portico marking by four high Doric columns , topped by a pediment of sober workmanship. The interior of this building arouses a special emotion, especially if the itinerary begins with the semi-basement: In it are archived, in old wooden furniture with brass fittings, or in more modern metal cabinets, up to 10 million of microchips of many words.

They were known by the Academy since 1713, when they began their tasks in the Plaza de las Descalzas, where the Marquis de Villena, founder of the institution, had his house. By privilege of king Carlos IV, the institution was then established in a two-story mansion of the Calle Valverde, where today is housed the Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences. From there it moved to the current palatial residence, after being built in 1894 between the streets of calle Moreto, calle Academia, calle Ruiz de Alarcón and calle Felipe IV.

Between 1726 and 1739 the Academy gave the light of the first dictionary of the Spanish language. It portal webpage of the RAE(Real Academia de la Lengua Española or Royal Academy of the Spanish Language), which will make possible the consultation of three dictionaries: that of the Spanish language, the Essential dictionary and the pan-Hispanic of doubts, besides to facilitate the free access to the Grammar, of 2009 and the Orthography 2010. The study rooms and the abundantly assorted bookstores abound. The so-called academic library is a piece of singular beauty, whose windows look towards the north façade of the Church of San Jerónimo el Real. In the library used to work the heroes of the language and although the location of each is free, everyone knows that such a table is the usual seat of each !

Madrid

RAE Royal Spanish Academy of the Spanish Language, credit tourist office of Madrid

In total, the palatial building houses 250,000 volumes, of them 30,000 from the Golden Age, all of which make up one of the richest and most valuable libraries in the world. In its collection are among other treasures of the Castilian/Spanish language, manuscripts of Gonzalo de Berceo, the history of the life of the search, Francisco de Quevedo, the Book of Good Love, Juan Ruiz, Archpriest de Hita and others Pablo Neruda. Another donation, by Miguel Herrero, brings together a collection of 5,000 sermons of preaching from the 16-17-18C, unique in its genre. An important legacy of the filmmaker and academician José Luis Borau also belongs to the academy, as well as a collection of 17,000 loose sheets and another reprints of articles on Romanesque philology. Some units of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at 187 calle Serrano , now house the Academy’s Study Center. Since its inauguration in 1894 by the Regent Maria Christina of Habsburg, it counted on electricity supply and central heating, two non-existent advantages then, except in Royal dependencies and in mansions of the nobility.

A wonderful historical and cultural building of immense significant in our world today, been Spanish, the second most spoken language in the world counting only native speakers. About 477 million people have it as their first language. Some more numbers:

Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and of the European Union , Organisation of American States, Union of  South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, The African Union, and many other organisations. According to the Pew Research Centre, in the USA alone the number of speakers has grown by an enormous 233% since 1980 , and looking globally, the Cervantes Institute predicts that the population in officially Spanish-speaking nations is predicted to reach 750 million by 2050. According to the same Cervantes Institute, today in the United States, there are 43 million native Spanish speakers and another 15 million people with some knowledge of Spanish. There you go.

Some webpages to help you understand better and get a passerbys eventually in Madrid

Official RAE Madrid

Tourist office of Madrid on the RAE

Hope you enjoy the cultural trip, podràs hablar Español muy pronto en todo el Mundo! Hasta pronto!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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