Spanish version

Lope de Vega Museum

calle de Cervantes tileLope de Vega was born in Madrid in 1562 and is well known as one of the most important authors in Spanish language.

He was even quite famous while he was alive, not as many other authors.

Although he wrote novels, poems and sonnets he is best known for his theater plays. It is thought that he wrote more than 1.800.

He lived in a very adventurous way and could have been the main character of any novel of that time. He had many lovers that he mentioned in his plays with fictitious names. This caused him a lot of problems, because, if the relationship had ended, he did not treat them quite well.

Lope de Vega museum - gardenSeveral familiar casualties seemed to have impelled him to become a priest, although this did not disminish the number of lovers.Lope de Vega museum

The last 25 years of his life he was in the house which is now the Museum of Lope de Vega. In those days the common thing was to rent a house, not to own it, this is why he was very proud to be owner of the building. On top of the entrance he wrote  "Parva propia, magna. Magna aliena, parva". Which means that it is better to own a little house, than to rent a big house that belongs to somebody else.

Inside the building we can see some typical aspects of homes in that time. For example, from his bedroom a little window allowed him to see the chapel, whenever he was ill.

The bedroom is in a room that has no windows that open Lope de Vega museumto the street, but to other parts of the house. This was done, because the streets smellt terribly. Everybody threw the garbage and other wastes out of the window onto the street and specially in summer the smell was disgusting.

In his study we see several big chairs around a brazier prepared to receive friends and chat about the topics of the moment.

The area of Barrio de las Letras, where Lope´s house is, was frequently visited by authors, actors or theatrical producers. There were "mentideros", gossiping places, where people got together to talk about the others and also to look for a job in the next play that was going to be on stage.

Cervantes and Lope de Vega did not get along very well. Cervantes also lived on the same street, but he died in a building that was located in what is now calle de Lope de Vega, while Lope de Vega died in the street that is now calle de Cervantes. They would probably not have liked this very much, but that is how it is. Where Cervantes´house was is a plaque and a medallion made by Esteban de Agreda in 1834.Cervantes medallion

When Lope de Vega died, the house was owned by different people and it almost dissapeared. While renovating it, they found the insciption that was on top of the entrance buried in the garden. This is why we can be sure that his house was here.

The Museum was reopened recently. There are only a few of Lope´s original belongings.Thanks to his daughter Marcela, who became a nun and took these things to the convent, we can see them today. The nuns have given them to the Museum. Also other museums have donated items of this period to  recreate his home. In his testament, Lope wrote a list of all his belongins, which has been an important help in order to know what he had in every room.

inscription on Cervantes houseLope died in 1635 and was buried in the church of San Sebastian, although nobody knows where his rests are now.

@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.
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