Revered poet Antonio Machado was a member of a group of Spanish writers conventionally known as Generation of ‘98, influenced by the grim social and cultural ramifications of the historical crisis caused by the Spanish defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, which changed the shape of the world at large, including the United States of America as we know them.
Between 1919 and 1932, a few years before the eruption of the Spanish Civil War, Machado spent time in Segovia as a French teacher while he wrote controversial letters to a mystery lady, or maybe not such a mystery! Most claim that it was always postmodernist poet and playwright Pilar de Valderrama, whom he addressed as “Guiomar.”
Today, Segovia’s visitors can explore the curiosities that still inhabit the hostel/apartment Machado rented during those late years. The home is also quintessential of the Castilian lifestyle in provincial towns at the time. It’s a multi-sensory experience that combines the traditional smell of old local wood exposed to the seasonal rigors, vintage books (including all Antonio Machado’s works in their original Spanish versions as well as translations into other languages), and reminiscent fabrics, all of it inundated with sunlight coming from every corner of the extremely narrow space.
Know Before You Go
Warning on Google Maps reviews: “the entry doorway is very low and there is no warning, so you duck on the way in because it is obvious, but the height issue is not so obvious on the way out. So watch out if you are 6 foot tall or bigger.”