Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Lope de Vega's well.
While in Madrid, Maya, Filipa and I stayed at an apartment on Called Lope de Vega.
Although not as famous as Cervantes outside Spain, Lope de Vega (considered the Shakespeare of Spain),
far surpassed Cervantes in importance when they were alive.
Amazingly, Cervantes and Lope de Vega were contemporaries and lived on the same street, which is now called Calle Cervantes. But, whereas Cervantes' house was torn down and replaced by a new building many years ago, Lope de Vega's house is pretty much as he left it and is now the Casa Museo Lope de Vega.
Maya and I visited Lope de Vega's house twice. Once for a tour in Spanish and once for a tour in English. It's a really beautiful museum, whose contents are believed to be pretty close to how it was while Lope de Vega lived there, a feature made possible because Lope de Vega described the house in his writings and kept a detailed account of its contents.
Like for all of Madrid, there are lots of stories that go along with Lope de Vega and his house. For example:
1- Late in life he was a priest who lived with a widow and fathered a child.
2- Although Cervantes lived just down the street and Lope de Vega hosted many famous artists in his study, Cervantes most likely never one of them, because they hated each other.
3- Perez-Reverte's character Captain Allatriste was based on a real person who was once a boarder in Lope de Vega's house.
4- Lope de Vega had some fourteen children with his wife and mistresses.
5- The sketch is of the well Lope de Vega had built to water the plants in his garden.