Summer house of the Lorca family where Federico wrote his most important works between 1926 and 1936. From there he escaped to the Rosales’ house after the uprising.
Federico García Lorca’s main residence in Granada was the Huerta de San Vicente (San Vicente Farmhouse), the country house where the family spent every summer from 1926 onwards; the place where works such as Yerma, Blood Wedding, the Gypsy Ballads, Doña Rosita the Spinster, The Public or Once Five Years Pass, among others, were written or worked on, and the house, in short, where the poet spent some of the best and worst hours of his adulthood (love breakups, doubts about the quality of his writings, anxiety over the criticism of Ballads or Mariana Pineda) and over which, from July 1936, tragedy loomed.
Lorca fled from there, before the violent and successive searches by uncontrolled groups, the night of August 9, 1936, to the house of the Rosales Camacho family where he was arrested and transferred to the Gobierno Civil on August 16 by a squad commanded by the former deputy of the CEDA party, Ramón Ruiz Alonso who was accompanied by several fascists.
The original name of the Farmhouse was The Dumb and when Don Federico bought it in 1925 for 32,350 pesetas he renamed it in recognition of his wife.
In 1975, the Farmhouse was about to be knocked to the ground by a partial urban development plan designed by the Ministry of Housing. The municipal authorities took no notice until, in January 1976, thanks to citizens’ protests, the planning was modified and the Farmhouse was saved.
The house belonged to the Lorca family until the eighties when it was acquired by the City Council of Granada on April 6, 1985 with the idea of converting it into a house-museum and moving part of the legacy there, which did not happen and opened a field of divergences with the heirs. The construction of the ring road flattened the orchard area and confined the property to a large park with an area of 71,500 square meters surrounded by the highway and Arabial street, the new expansion area of the city towards the fertile plain.
The original property was acquired by Don Federico García Rodríguez on May 27, 1925, when the deed of sale was signed, although he did not take possession of it until October 30. The original name of the Farmhouse, at least in 1856, was The Dumb and, before that, The Little Marbles, although the new owner wanted it to be called San Vicente in recognition of his wife, Vicenta Lorca. In fact, he installed an image of the saint, recently stolen, in the entrance niche.
The property was acquired from Agustín Coca Hidalgo, a merchant from Torvizcón, in the Alpujarra in Granada, for 32,350 pesetas. The building was in the municipality of Jaragüi or Fargüi, as was the neighboring Huerta del Tamarit owned by Francisco, one of Don Federico’s brothers and later his daughter Clotilde García Picossi, whose sentimental heartbreak inspired Doña Rosita the Spinster. “My uncle,” writes Marcelle Auclair, picking up a phrase of Federico, “has the most beautiful address in the world: Huerta del Tamarit. Term of Fargüi. Granada”. The oldest deed to the property dates back to 1541. The residence had two distinct periods. Until 1933 it was the family’s summer “distraction” and “toy”; from 1933, after the closing of the apartment at 31 Acera del Casino and the move to Madrid, 31, it became the last family property in Granada.
In 1925, the Farmhouse lacked drinking water (distribution did not arrive until 1960) and electricity. Water reservoir, cisterns and pipes, belonging to the hydraulic network, built by the Arabs, were then essential elements for the supply. A water branch reached the Farmhouse. Electricity, on the other hand, arrived with the family in 1926 thanks to the fact that Don Federico was a shareholder of the electric company.
The Farmhouse, with two floors, had 500 meters of surface area and two buildings. The main one, the oldest, of almost 187 square meters, and another smaller one, of recent construction, intended mainly for keeping tools and animals. When the Lorca family lived in the Farmhouse they undertook several reforms.
The first floor consisted of a hall, kitchen, living-room, the Francisco’s room and the pantry. Federico and his brother shared a room for some time; then, on the upper floor, the bedrooms of their parents and those of Federico, his sisters and the maids were installed. In the thirties the house underwent a new enlargement.
The second building was renovated and became the residence of the caretakers. Gabriel Perea, the caretaker, a reaper from Valderrubio, arrived at the Farmhouse with his two sisters and mother in early 1926. They were paid four pesetas a day. They had to wait several months for their quarters to be ready. In the weeks after the Civil War, Gabriel Perea was whipped to get him to confess his brother’s whereabouts.
Federico and his brother shared a room for some time; then, on the upper floor, the bedrooms of their parents and those of Federico, his sisters and the maids were installed.
Frederick’s bedroom is preserved in its original condition and orientation. In a letter to Jorge Zalamea, a friend of his, he describes the views from his bedroom: “Granada in front of my balcony, stretched out in the distance with a beauty never equaled.”The balcony was also a place of anxiety in the darkest moments: “If I die / leave the balcony open”. On the wall there is a print of the Virgen Dolorosa de los Cuatro Puñales, a painting by Rafael Alberti and the poster of La Barraca designed by Benjamín Palencia.
Federico’s correspondence is riddled with encomiastic references to the Farmhouse and invitations to his closest friends, including Dalí, to spend a few days there. The Farmhouse was a place of pilgrimage for all of Federico’s close friends from Granada, including Manuel de Falla and is linked to the mature works of the poet and playwright.
Works decised in the Farmhouse
In the summer of 1926 Lorca worked on The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife, a play conceived in 1924 and which he corrected by 1933. He also wrote some of the poems of the Gypsy Ballads, one of them, the one dedicated to San Miguel Arcángel.
In 1927 , between Lanjarón and The Farmhouse, he wrote the prose entitled Santa Lucía and San Lázaro which was to be the beginning of a book entitled Poems in Prose.
In 1928, Lorca arrived at the Farmhouse on August 2. He brought the favorable reviews of the recently appeared Ballads but also the implacable ones of Salvador Dalí. In that summer he worked on Odes the antithesis of the Ballads. He worked on the second and third parts of the Ode to the Blessed Sacrament which he dedicated to Falla and which he would not finish until November 1929, already in New York.
Lorca arrived in Cadiz from Havana in June 1930. In July, in the Farmhouse, he worked on an initial version of The Public which he had begun in New York and Cuba. He finished the work on August 22 in the Farmhouse, as recorded in the manuscript.
Lorca arrived in the Farmhouse on July 26, 1931 and worked on the manuscript of Once Five Years Pass, the completion of which is dated August 19. He also made progress on another failed project, the Poems for the Dead, of which Earth and Moon and perhaps Omega, both of which appeared in Poet in New York, were initially part. He also wrote the Allocution to the People of Fuente Vaqueros which he read in his hometown in September.
In August 1932, in just twenty days, he worked on Blood Wedding. His brother Francisco remembers him busy on a project he had begun a year earlier and had been obsessed with for five years.
The summer stay of 1933, due to the second and third exits of La Barraca, was reduced to two or three weeks. During that period in the Farmhouse he wrote the first two acts of Yerma.
The tragedy about infertility had to wait until 1934. That summer Lorca resided in the Farmhouse for two periods. The first, between July 16 and the first days of August, shortly before his friend the bullfighter Ignacio Sanchez Mejias was gored. Yerma, according to the manuscript, was finished on July 24. He read it shortly after in the Farmhouse itself to Joaquín Amigo and Luis Jiménez Pérez. The second reading took place on September 27 at the Casa de los Tiros. During that year and some previous ones he also worked on the Divan del Tamarit both in the Huerta de San Vicente and the Tamarit, owned by his cousin Clotilde García Picossi.
The Last Summer
In 1936, ten years after the Lorca’s first stay, the sign of those happy annual reunions to which their parents came from Madrid and siblings, relatives and friends joined them, changed radically.
Lorca traveled from Madrid to Granada, after many doubts due to the worsening of the political situation and, in particular, the assassination one day before of José Calvo Sotelo, on July 14 with the idea of celebrating his name day on July 18. A month earlier his parents had done so. “Rafael,” he told his friend Martínez Nadal before taking the train, “these fields are going to be filled with the dead. It is decided. I’m going to Granada and be what God wills”. His arrival was picked up randomly by the El Defensor newspaper of Constantino Ruiz-Carnero, who a few weeks later was also to be killed by a platoon of the rebels: “The illustrious author of Blood Wedding intends to spend a short time with his relatives,” announced the newspaper.
After the second search, in which the guard Gabriel Perea was tied to a cherry tree and mistreated in the presence of everyone, Federico decided to flee the Farmhouse and take refuge in the house of the Rosales family.
On the 20th, the Lorca family learned that the rebels had arrested the socialist mayor and husband of Concha, Manuel Fernández-Montesinos. The bombings produced astonishment among the residents of the Farmhouse. According to the testimony of Angelina Cordobilla, the family nanny, the poet insistently asked: “If they killed me, would you cry a lot?”.
– First search. On August 6, a group of Falangists under the command of Captain Manuel Rojas Feijespán, who had been sentenced in 1934 to 21 years in prison for his role in the massacre of Casas Viejas, appeared at the Farmhouse. Rojas was confined in Motril but escaped in the first days of the uprising. He was apparently looking for a radio station through which Lorca communicated with the Soviet Union and that, according to his suspicions, was hiding in the piano.
– Second search. On August 9, three days later, another group appeared at the Farmhouse formed by members coming mostly from Valderrubio and Pinos Puente under the command of a retired sergeant of the Civil Guard: they were looking for the landlord Gabriel Perea so that he would confess the whereabouts of his brothers. Among the gunmen were Enrique García Puertas, known as El Marranero; two landowners and the brothers Horacio and Miguel Roldán, whose family had lost several lawsuits in the 1920s with Don Federico over a property. A sister of the Roldáns was married to Captain Antonio Fernández Sánchez, one of the most active conspirators of the military coup in Granada. Gabriel was tied to a cherry tree and mistreated in the presence of everyone. Faced with such a scene Federico considered fleeing.
– Lorca’s escape. The night of that same day, August 9, the family chauffeur took Lorca to the Rosales’ house, only a few hundred meters from the Gobierno Civil (today the Law School, entrance on Duquesa Street), where Federico, advised by his friend the poet Luis Rosales, would have more security.
– The last search of the Farmhouse on August 15, with Federico already in the Rosales’ house, was carried out by a paramilitary squad that was now looking for Federico. The group was led by a certain Francisco Díaz Esteve, who even searched the piano for a hypothetical clandestine radio from which the poet, who was suspected of being a Soviet spy, communicated with his red friends.
– Falla and his sister visited the Farmhouse many times. The family car would pick them up and they would have dinner together. Isabel García Lorca says: “One of the few things they told me about the terror of the Civil War was the first visit Don Manuel made to the Farmhouse, that he was frisked by the police who had been ordered to watch my parents, and that he told them: `I come as an artist, as a friend and as a Christian”.
After the murders of Lorca and Manuel Fernández-Montesinos, the family remained two years sheltered in the Farmhouse until, frightened and vulnerable, they moved to an apartment in Manuel del Paso street, next to the Basílica de las Angustias. Francisco and Isabel García Lorca, who had been trapped outside Granada by the war, were missing. They both went to Brussels. In August 1940, the family arrived in America.
In the summer of 1935, specifically from June 21 to July 19, the journalist of Galician descent, Eduardo Blanco-Amor was a guest of the family for the second time. Federico dedicated the first reading of Doña Rosita the Spinster to him.
Eduardo loved photography. He left an impressive footage of Federico and his family that constitutes the only coverage made in the Huerta de San Vicente. The photos show Vicenta Lorca and the siblings Tica, Conchita and Manuel Fernández Montesinos, children of Concha García Lorca and the future socialist mayor Manuel Fernández-Montesinos, murdered in the first days of the military insurrection of 1936.
The bequest consists of 16 photographs. There are two series, one taken on the terrace at sunset, and another taken in different spaces outside and inside the house. The latter series refers to the images of Federico dressed in La Barraca’s jumpsuit or posing with his mother in the dining-room or playing the piano. As a whole, the images of the report are among the most reproduced.
After the Banco-Amor war he went into exile in Argentina. The photos remained mostly unpublished until 1952. Blanco refused to sign the images in Spain until 1959 in the magazine Ínsula. Earlier, in 1954, they were reproduced unsigned in the first edition of Arturo del Hoyo’s Complete Works.
The last play that Lorca read to his friends, just after he had arrived from Madrid, was The House of Bernarda Alba in the Alonso Cano House, in the Albayzín, owned by his friend Fernando Vílchez. Lorca used for the reading not the manuscript but a typed copy that, after his death, was reproduced by the writer José Fernández Castro and sent, already after the war, to his exiled relatives in the United States. That copy was the one used by Margarita Xirgu for the premiere in 1945 in Buenos Aires.
One of the last visits Federico received in The Farmhouse was that of his close friend Eduardo Rodríguez Valdivieso with whom he exchanged many letters, the contents of which he agreed to publish in 1995, two years before his death. Valdivieso went to The Farmhouse on several occasions in July 1936. On one of those days of war and repression, Lorca came down from his bedroom in an uproar and told him that he had had a disturbing dream: a group of mourning women were holding crucifixes, also black, with which they were threatening him. The six letters were acquired in 1995 by the García Lorca Board of Fuente Vaqueros and are preserved in the neighboring archive of the Lorca Study Center.
The last residence of the García Lorca family in Granada, after the murder of Federico and his brother-in-law Manuel Fernández-Montesinos, was an apartment located in Manuel del Paso street. They moved there from the Farmhouse in October 1938 and remained there until the end of the war when they decided to embark for New York, where they arrived in the summer of 1940.
The house, which no longer exists, was located practically opposite the house at Acera del Darro, 50, where they arrived from Valderrubio in 1908 and where Isabel García Lorca was born, The house had three floors. There they learned of the fall of Madrid from the mouth of the faithful servant Dolores La Colorina, who brought the news from the street, “The kitchen was filled with disturbed people. Everyone was crying; I was also infected by that chorus. Everyone except my grandfather who, after a while of listening to the moaning, approached my grandmother and said, so seriously: ‘Let’s go Vicenta’. The exile had just begun,” recalls Manuel Fernández Montesinos, born in 1932, in his memoirs.
“There are so many ordinary jasmines in the garden and so many night-blooming jasmines that in the early morning it gives everyone at home a lyrical headache.”(For Jorge Guillén, 1926)
“Summer is ending and I am still hanging on, without the slightest hint of starting my work as a dramatic poet. I don’t know what to do and I’m annoyed, because as my parents see nothing practical in my writings they are upset with me.”(For Eduardo Marquina, 1926)
“I now live at Huerta de San Vicente in the Vega, recently acquired by my father. The garden has a tremendous amount of century-old jasmine. I work.”(For Javier Garau, 1926)
“I’m in the middle of the countryside, all day eating luscious fruit and singing on the swing with my siblings, and I do so many foolish things that sometimes I’m ashamed of how old I am.”(For Sebastià Gasch, 1927)
“As you know, I am now at Huerta de San Vicente, very near Granada. Here I am fine, the house is very big and surrounded by water.”(For Ana María Dalí, 1927)
“I am at Huerta de San Vicente, a beautiful place with trees and clear water, with Granada in front of my balcony, stretched out in the distance with a beauty never equaled.”(For Melchor Fernández Almagro, 1928)
“All day long I have a factory-based poetic activity. And then I throw myself into the man, into the pure Andalusian, into the bacchanal of flesh and laughter. Andalusia is incredible. East without poison. West without action. Today it is a grey day in Granada of the highest quality. And in spite of everything I am not myself nor am I happy”.(For Jorge Zalamea, 1928)
“I am working on the Ode to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. We’ll see. It is very difficult. But my faith will do it.”(For Jorge Zalamea, 1928)
“I work a lot. Right now my house is full of lullabies to put the baby to sleep, and my mom, my sisters, my dad, the trees and the dogs are already asleep, except for the baby, who never goes to sleep.”(For Carlos Morla Lynch, 1931)
“Here I am finishing the last scene of Yerma and planning Doña Rosita or the Language of the Flowers. In a few days I will be in Madrid to go to Santander with La Barraca. On my return you will come with me to Huerta de San Vicente, where you can study and enjoy this silence and this wonderful scent of jasmine”.(For Rafael Martínez Nadal, 1934)
“At that hour Federico would not go to sleep. He would open his balcony doors. He would pull the blind and start writing, according to him, until the light of dawn; he would close the balcony doors and then he would fall asleep. He undoubtedly slept deeply, because at home there was no silence. In those summers at the Huerta de San Vicente Federico did not yet have the piano. I never heard him play the guitar in the Farmhouse. We had a gramophone and he played a lot of classical music, especially Bach and Mozart and deep song… Federico would not go to sleep. He would open his balcony doors. He would pull the shutter and start writing, according to him, until the light of dawn”.(Isabel García Lorca, 2002)
- Manuel Fernández-Montesinos. What Lives in Us. Tusquets. Barcelona, 2008.
- Federico García Lorca. Complete works IV, V and VI. RBA-Instituto Cervantes. Barcelona 2006.
- Francisco García Lorca. Federico and his World. Alianza Tres. Madrid, 1990.
- Isabel García Lorca. My Memories. Tusquets. Barcelona, 2002.
- Ian Gibson. Federico García Lorca. Biography. Grijalbo. Barcelona, 1987.
- Eduardo Molina Fajardo. The Last Days of García Lorca. Plaza and Janés. Barcelona, 1983
- Jesús Ortega. Album. Huerta de san Vicente. Granada, 2015
- Marta Osorio. Agustín Penón. Fear, Forgetfulness and Fantasy. Comares, Granada, 2009.
- Antonina Rodrigo. Huerta de san Vicente. Hispano-American Notebooks. Volume II: Tribute to García Lorca. With Federico. In Memory , no. 435-436 (September-October 1986), p. 817-834.
- Lorca´s location
- Huerta de San Vicente
- current location
- Huerta de San Vicente - Federico García Lorca House Museum
- Parque Federico García Lorca (Virgen Blanca, s/n)
- 958 849 112
- DETAILS OF THE VISIT
The tours are guided. They have a duration of 30 minutes. The maximum capacity for each visit is 15 people.
Groups must be booked in advance.
Please, check the museum website for information on opening hours.