Archive for April 12th, 2022

April 12, 2022

The Casa Museum of Cervantes and Lope de Vega in Madrid !!

Well of course from birth I was taught and made remember the plays of these two giants of Spanish literature ,playwriters, and a poet that were Miguel Cervantes Saadvedra and Félix Lope de Vega Carpio, both better known as Cervantes and Lope de Vega. And they are in my whimsical Barrio de las Letras (see post) neighborhood in my beloved Madrid! Let me update this post when I took my boys on an educational visit for the roots of it all!

The Casa-Museo de Lope de Vega is located at Calle Cervantes, 11. The house is a typical example of a 17C common dwelling. It was finished  in 1578. Having bought the house in 1610, Lope de Vega lived there the last twenty-five years of his life with his  second wife, Juana Guardo, until her death in 1635. One of her girls then inherit it, then a nephew who sells it in 1674. Move forward a bit, and in 1929, its owner, Antonia García de Cabrejo, created a foundation there to teach orphans how to make lace. Having no heir, after her death the foundation became in 1931 property of the Royal Spanish Academy, which still owns it. After restoration, the Casa-Museo de Lope de Vega was inaugurated in 1935. Between 1973 and 1975, the house was restored again.


In this period the different rooms were rebuilt: oratory, dais, dining room, kitchen, study and bedrooms of the poet and his daughters on the first floor and on the second the guest rooms and servitude. Lope de Vega enjoyed an interior garden often mentioned in his poems and writings and that had to be rebuilt as well. Some objects belonging to the poet and preserved in the convent of the Trinitarian, where professed a daughter of his, have been transferred to the house-museum. Inside there are several paintings provided by the Prado Museum and the furniture, from the 17C, comes from the García Cabrejo Foundation,now under the Real Academia Española.  A third restoration was done between 1990 and 1992. A wonderful place off the beaten path to visit in my Madrid!


The official Casa Museum of Lope de Vega

The Madrid tourist office on the Casa Museum of Lope de Vega

On the same Calle Cervantes,  2 is the last house in which Miguel Cervantes  Saavedra lived in Madrid. The house is not preserved as at the time nor can it be visited. But we can see the plaque, which says: “Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra lived and died here, whose ingenuity admires the world. He died in MDCXVI. ” (1666).


In addition, we know that the novelist lived in other houses in Madrid. For example, at Calle de Huertas 18 , the same building where Casa Alberto restaurant is today, founded in 1827. A plaque next to the premises remembers it. Here he wrote the second part of El Quijote and The Works of Persiles and Segismunda. Also , he is buried in the Iglesia de las Trinitarias Descalzas (Church of the Barefoot Trinitarian) at Calle de Lope de Vega, 18.  Also, the printing shop of Juan de la Cuesta on Calle de Atocha 87  is the building where the first part of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha (The Ingenious knight Don Quijote de La Mancha)  was printed. A plaque reminds us, adorned with figures of the characters of the work. At present, the building houses the Cervantes Society. Shortly after publication, in 1609, the printing  moved to the neighboring  Calle San Eugenio, 7 ; you can see another plaque that says that the second part of Don Quixote was printed here. The building is occupied by private homes.

The statue of Cervantes  is in the Plaza de las Cortes,(see post) in front of the Congreso de Diputados (Congress). This figure, opened in 1833, represents the novelist in period dress. You saw the classic ruff in the right hand it carries a roll of papers. At the base you can see two scenes of El Quijote, carved in bronze.  The monument to Cervantes located in the Plaza de España (see post)  is one of the most spectacular in Madrid. Opened in 1929, it measures 35 meters high and offers great complexity due to the amount of figures it contains and its meaning.

There are many streets dedicated to Cervantes in Madrid. To him and his works, of course. The main one would be Calle Cervantes,  where he lived and died. Calle Don Quijote is in the Cuatro Caminos neighborhood, and next to it is Calle Dulcinea. The street dedicated to Sancho Panza, quite short, is in Puente de Vallecas. Even shorter, a few blocks away, is the street dedicated to the bachelor Sansón Carrasco. In the neighborhood of Tres Olivos we find many others related to El Quijote: Ronda del Ingenioso Hidalgo, Cueva de Montesinos , Princesa Micomicona , Rocinante, and so on. From Atocha train Station (RENFE) , the Cervantes Train leaves, on Saturdays from April to December. The destination is Alcalá de Henares, on a non-stop route enlivened by theatrical  performances. And more of Cervantes there!

The Madrid tourist office on the Casa Cervantes

The official Cervantes Society

There you go folks, if you want to know about Spanish literature , playwrites and dwell on the history of Spain, then by all means stop by these two spots of Cervantes and Lope de Vega, and any other you can in Madrid or Alcala de Henares nearby. (see posts). Hope you enjoy it as I.

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

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April 12, 2022

The Arts always the Arts in my Madrid!!!

The cultural offering in Madrid is awesome on all levels not just the museum triangle; it is all over the city. There is no day that goes by without an opportunity to see something different for the night owls of the arts and cinema. Cinema is a craze for us we love it and go to them in force even in the times of digital techno advances. Madrid has kept some of its jewels going on for years with great efforts and to be worthy of recogntion; we need to protect our cultural heritage or patrimonio cultural.  I have been to them at least once especially the cinemas. I like to give them credit for what they are , a cultural wonderful part of my beloved Madrid.

The following are those still standing from my youthful time there and worth visiting; Cine Dore, Cine Ideal and Teatro Calderon! Let me tell you a bit on them. Hope you enjoy them as I.

The Cine Dore is a movie theater since 1923. Since 1989, it houses the Filmoteca Española official screening rooms, organizes conferences, distributes old and foreign films in its original version and has a specialized bookshop. The Spanish Cinémathèque or Filmoteca Española is an institution of the Spanish Ministry of Culture responsible for the preservation of Spanish film heritage. Its mission is to recover research and preserve the film heritage and promote it.


The Cine Dore was inaugurated on 19 December 1912 at Calle Santa Isabel , No. 3, behind  the Plaza Antón Martin, at the back of the Parish Church of St. Salvador and San Nicholas. It could accommodate up to 1,250 spectators and included a ground floor, two upper floors, a garden and a smoking lounge.

The existence of the Cine Dore was called into question by the decline of the district of Anton Martin, which ended up losing its main functions and was reduced to a set of services: markets, cinema, etc. From the 1930s, the Cine Doré became a room where success was repeated, with 2 daily sessions. Until its closure in 1963, it was a neighborhood cinema, better known as “Palacio de las Pipas” or palace of the smoking pipes. In 1982, the Madrid City Council decided to acquire the Cine Dore as a building of architectural and environmental interest to be conserved. After its purchase by the Madrid City Council and the signing of a transfer agreement to the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the Cine Doré is chosen to serve as a permanent location for screenings of the Spanish Cinematheque.

The Ministry of Culture and Sports on the Ciné Dore

The Madrid tourist office on Cine Dore Filmoteca

The Cine Ideal , officially Yelmo Cines Ideal, is located in the Calle del Doctor Cortezo, near the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente. It is one of the oldest cinemas with permanent character of Madrid. It was inaugurated on May 10, 1916. However, its current appearance hardly remembers the original. It had capacity for almost three thousand spectators. 


In 1932 the Cine Ideal was adapted to perform theatrical performances, specializing in zarzuelas and musical shows. Unfortunately, over the decades, the one that was presented in 1916 as “the most modern coliseum in Madrid” ended up declining and presenting symptoms of ruin. It’s last years were spent programming night marathons of fantasy and horror movies.

In 1990 the Cine Ideal  was acquired by the company Yelmo Cines, which completely reformed it to transform it into a complex of eight mini salons with a another one opened in 1996, specialized in the original version. It retains beautiful stained glass windows, restored in 2002, attributed to the Maumejean factory. It is an allegory of the cinema, in the form of a mysterious person who rests his face on a lit projector, flanked by peacocks and garlands.

The Yelmo Cines programming for Cine Ideal

The Madrid tourist office on cinemas showing VO or original version films such as Ideal and Dore:

The Teatro Calderón (theater) is located at Calle de Atocha no 18 , just in front of Plaza Jacinto Benavente. On June 18, 1917, the Odeón Theater was inaugurated, today known as Calderón. It is surely one of the most beautiful buildings in the center of Madrid, both for its exterior architecture and for interior decoration. Good to take a peek if open for the decorations if no time for a program, we were passing by with the boys, and each time no time for a show..


It has capacity for more than a thousand spectators. It occupies part of the site of the former Convent of the Trinitarios Calzados (footed Trinitarians). A year after its inauguration, it was transferred to the Centro de Hijos de Madrid (center of Sons of Madrid), and began to be known as Teatro del Centro (theater of the Center). It changed its  owner and name again in 1927. Being owned by the Duke of the Infantado, it finally became the Teatro Calderón.

Because of its great capacity, rather than the technical conditions of the stage,the Teatro Calderon has been a theater for lyrical shows for almost all its history. During the Second Republic it was an opera house and after the Spanish Civil War it was the favorite scene of the zarzuela lyric artists. The zarzuela has also been an intermittent constant of its programming. It also hosted the Madrid Symphony Orchestra. In recent years, it regularly programs large national and international musical shows. In 2012, the Caser Calderón Theater was renamed, by the Caser insurance company (its current owners).

The Madrid tourist office on Teatro Calderon

The Madrid all theater webpage on the Calderon

They have a page but is under repairs so rather not show for safety’s sake.

There you go folks, once again some marvels of my Madrid to enjoy its cultural side with the whole family. Hope you enjoy the trio of Dore, Ideal and Calderon, for me memories forever and hoping they do keep opens for eternity!

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

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