granada la bella

where anything is possible


The rather sad and somewhat sordid saga of the Lorca Centre’s slow and painful genesis 2003 - 2019.



GRANADA LA BELLA was the title of a book written by Angel Ganivet while he was living in Finland, shortly before he took his own life in 1898. Angel Ganivet was a leading figure in the contemporary cultural scene in Granada at the end of the century and he had a huge influence on Lorca's generation. Many of the ideas expressed in this book are taken up and developed by Lorca and his circle.   

The title hints at the dual nature of the city, its light and dark sides. Because while the Beauty of Granada is undeniable, it can also reveal itself as the Beast.

An example of how Granada succumbs to the beast in its breast can be seen in the way its Gran Vía de Colón bulldozers its way through the heart of the old city with no regard for historical or aesthetic considerations. Discussed elsewhere on this site.

Photo by ccoutesy of  Rene Hirt

LEFT: The Lorca Centre, when it was still under construction, in March 2013.

Another dichotomy often applied to the city of Granada involves an apparently insuperable chasm  between dream and reality. It is a city of ccontemplation, not one of action. It has enormous difficulty in converting its ambitious projects into workable successful projects. An example of that is to be found in the conception and execution of the Lorca Centre, the purpose of which was to house the poet's literary and cultural legacy and bring it 'home' to Granada from Madrid.

PAGE updated 07/07/2020

Contact me: simon@granadalabella.eu



I first came to live in Granada in 1990. I lived here continuously up  to 2008, as a teacher of English. During this time I built my website dedicated to the life, times and works of García Lorca. I also led Lorca theme-based tours for a while. Then I moved to London to work and after  a number of unsettled years moving between Eastbourne, Birmingham, Lao Cai (Vietnam), Granada and Bristol, I 'retired' to my modest home in the  remote barrio of Alquería del Fargue. I returned here from my travels most recently in February 2020, just in time for the corona confinement.

This is the view from my front door.


El Fargue

El Fargue, or Alquería del Fargue to give it its offical name, is a barrio (neighbourhood) of Granada, belonging to the municipal district of el Albaicín, situated to the northwest of the city centre. It is 4 km by road from the Hospital Real/Jardines del Triunfo and arriving here you get more the feeling of being in a village than a barrio. You leave the built-up area behind and come to this peaceful agglomeration of terraced houses with this extraordinarily breath-taking view up to the Sierra Nevada on the right. But it is not a village. It has no village square, no village bars, and no village shops. This is because the centre of the barrio is occupied by a large closed-off area belonging to an armaments factory, by which its special character has been defined.






LINK TO SAGA 2: The Saga of the Fruitless Search for the Universal Poet's Mortal Remains

2003 - the decision is made to build the Lorca Centre in Granada, to house the "Lorca Legacy", currently stored in the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid.

2005 - the architects are chosen and construction work starts.

2008 - the Centre is expectedd to be operative. Meanwhile,

Juan Tomás Martín has been entrusted and given a free hand to manage the Centre's accounts.

2011 - grand inauguration scheduled for the celebration of the 113th anniversary of the Lorca’s birth on June 5. It doesn't happen.

2013 - builders move in to finish the construction work, which had been suspended, owing to a "financing problem".

2015 - Without pomp, without ceremony, and without the invaluable resources of the long-awaited Lorca legacy, the Centre is opened to the public.

2018 - Juan Tomás Martín admits to embezzling two million euros from the Centre. In fact, the real amounts he creamed off for himself through dishonest or dubious accounting practices probably go a long way towards explaining the 4.5m deficit that had held up the buiding work for so long.

In October, a hurriedly put together exhibition made up of items from the Lorca Legacy, Desde el Centro [From the Centre]: Lorca y Granada, is opened.

2019- April: Sara Navarro is appointed director of the Centre, replacing Laura García-Lorca. September: the long-awaited Christopher Maurer exhibition titled “Jardín deshecho: Lorca y el amor” opens, on till 6 January 2020.

LINK TO SAGA 1: The Sad and Sordid Saga of The Lorca Centre's Painful Genesis 2003 - 201