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Thursday, September 05, 2013 (read 502 times)
Museums in Granadaby Abigail
Little known to the average tourist, Granada is not only home to the grand and globally renowned palaces of La Alhambra, but the city also boasts an impressive selection of museums. Celebrating the talent of outstanding artists, sharing the discoveries of leading scientists and commemorating the life of one of Spain’s most illustrious poets and dramatists respectively, Granada’s Museum of Fine Arts, Science Park Museum and Federico García Lorca House-Museum will leave their visitors filled with inspiration.
Corrupt and unjust as it may sound, it is only thanks to the confiscation of artwork from various monasteries and convents by Mendizábal, Spain’s Prime Minister from 1835-1836, that Granada’s Museum of Fine Arts exists today.
First opening its doors in August 1839, Granada´s Museum of Fine Arts has relocated its prestigious collection on multiple occasions. Originally housed in an old convent in Santa Cruz La Real, the artwork was moved four more times before finally reaching its present, and most spectacular, home on the first floor of the Palace of Carlos V in 1950. Found in the heart of La Alhambra, the museum is comprised of more than 2000 paintings and sculptures from the 15th to the 20th Century. Thanks to the careful division of the museum into four distinct sections, which includes Renaissance and Mannerism, Baroque, 19th Century paintings, and the beginning of the 20th Century to the Avant-garde, visitors can easily observe the remarkable change in art techniques through the ages. Moreover, with regard to the works of highly distinguished artists, the museum showcases several: the still life paintings of Sánchez Cotán, the religious canvasses of Alonso Cano and the wooden sculptures of Diego de Siloé amongst others.
Science Park Museum
70,000 square metres in size, of which 27,000 square metres are green, open spaces, Granada’s Science Park Museum is unsurprisingly one of the city’s most popular attractions for families.
For those parents concerned about taking their children away from the beach during the summer heat, Granada’s interactive Science Park Museum is the perfect solution. From the Digital Planetarium, which transports astronomy fanatics on a 360° tour through space, to the Eureka Room, where avid sportsmen can jump on bikes to test their physical fitness, to the Biosphere Room, where visitors can enter a huge kaleidoscope, the museum will take children and adults alike on an exciting voyage of scientific discovery. However, the fun family-orientated activities are not just confined to interior spaces; a Tropical Butterfly House, a Maze, a Mental Gymnastics Tent and a 50-metre high Observation Tower are just a few more of the attractions available.
Federico García Lorca House-Museum
Although on a much smaller scale, the Federico García Lorca House-Museum is equally worth a visit as it offers tourists an intimate insight into the life of one of Spain’s greatest ever literary figures.
In spite of his literary prowess, Federico García Lorca was tragically murdered by fascist troops in 1936 given that, as his biographer Ian Gibson asserts, “a successful, liberal homosexual could not be tolerated in Franco´s Spain.”
In fact, it was whilst residing in this house during the summers between 1926 and 1936 that Lorca wrote some of his most celebrated works including Blood Wedding and Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías. On a more morbid note, Lorca equally took refuge in this house in the days leading up to his shocking and unjust death. Maintaining its original structure and situated in the tranquil countryside surrounding Granada, Lorca’s summer residence has been open to the public since 1995 and invites visitors to observe an array of intriguing personal items including photographs, drawings, paintings and manuscripts. Tragic as Lorca’s death may have been, the museum undeniably succeeds in preserving the memory of a literary genius.
Photo by Sara Fasullo
Keywords: granada spain,federico garcia lorca,spanish culture,spanish art,spanish cities,spanish literature