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The mineral waters that inspired the poet from Granada

" ... And I felt the springs bubbling up as a child I would listen. Was the same flowing full of music and science ignored. LORD, pull me out from the soil! give me ears to understand the waters! Give me a lovingly voice to remove the secret of her enchanted waves".

Federico García Lorca. Fragment poem Spring (1919).


Edificio histórico del Balneario de LanjarónOn my trip to Granada to attend the II Iberoamerican Congress of Peloids being held in Lanjaron SPA, I was privileged to take a bath of culture of this healthy water for mind and body that inspired Federico García Lorca a poet both universal and local.

And my journey through the fourteen pillars or springs that adorn the streets of Lanjaron was like a walk through time evoking the beautiful verses which the poet dedicated to water and to be found in the Spring (Fragment) 1919.
Who could understand the springs, the secret water newborn, that song hidden from all eyes of the spirit, sweet melody beyond of souls ...?

Federico knew the health benefits that have Lanjaron mineral waters, a town that is proud of the frequent presence of the poet of Fuente Vaquero as stated in the chapter "García Lorca in Lanjaron. A poet and a landscape" by Manuel Arredondo Valenzuela and published in the book "Lanjaron. Landscapes of Water."
Through an exceptional documentation, we discover the real essence of power of Lanjaron waters at that time (1915), was already considered a resort of national and even international range for the healing properties of its waters.

According to some information to which the author had access, there are over eighty springs identified in such a small space. This is facilitate by the location of Lanjaron in the southern foothills of the Sierra Nevada, with an average elevation of over 650 meters above sea level, overlooking the valley of Guadalfeo with features Alpujarra and Lecrín Valley (Valley of joy), but far from the Mediterranean Sea that Lorca qualifies as one and indivisible and that attracts the poet.

"My mother has had strong hepatic colics and we had need to come to Lanjaron in great haste. Thank God, these waters of Capuchina have put the good with miraculous speed, and we are all happy as can be assumed". (Letter to Manual de Falla (Hotel España, Lanjaron end of August 6, 1926)

Lanjaron. Manantial La Capuchina - Manantial Salud del interior del Balneario

Lanjaron enters the soul of Garcia Lorca, in his inspiration, in his poetic flow, and is reflected in multiple works. Some poems of Gypsy Ballads were developed here among the apathetic curists: "I must make a great effort to hold a normal conversation with these people Spa, for my eyes and my words are somewhere else...". (Letter to Sebastian Gasch from Lanjaron end of August 1927).

But, when it comes Lorca first to Lanjaron?. The Lorca researcher Ian Gibson, in his biography of Federico, do not says for sure, although the author of this chapter states that first comes to this resort village in 1924 and spent the summer of 1926 in Lanjaron.

There is no documentation proving their stay in Lanjaron in 1925 but it is possible, almost certain, that the family might make his summer between Fuente Vaqueros, the Huerta de San Vicente, Playa de Málaga and Lanjaron. At that time it was not fashionable to go to the beaches and instead was usual to go to resorts and Lanjaron already enjoyed an excellent reputation.

Granada province is rich in spas, many of them the most frequented by the gentry of Spain in the early twentieth century, as in the case of Zújar, ancient Baths of Plinio, and portrayed by the stereoscopic camera of Arturo Cerda Rico. Unfortunately today it has disappeared under the waters of the Negratín reservoir.

In "García Lorca in Lanjaron. A poet and a landscape", are also cited many other famous resorts such as Solan de Cabras, Vichy Catalan, Panticosa, La Toja .... or Marmolejo, where Armando Palacio Valdés sets the action of his novel "Sister San Sulpicio"; or super famous Baden-Baden (Rulettenburf in novelistic fiction) where Dostoevsky develops the action of The Player and the Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. "Stressing that in view of all this, we can say that the spas are source not only of water, but of poetic and literary inspiration.

In 1926, There is complete certainty that Federico Garcia Lorca and his family spend a summer season in Lanjaron as shown by numerous letters and documents. Gibson says: "Federico spent the summer of 1926 between Asquerosa (today Valderrubia), Granada and Lanjaron (Dona Vicenta Lorca had to urgently go the famous spa, afflicted by strong hepatic colics).

Fuente en la Ruta de los Pilares. Lanjarón - Jardín Oriental

Federico made life spa and every morning “was meeting with an amazing group of people, very distant to him at all, in which were several priests. But he was interested in talking to them because it was a fixed point in this gathering, where he was very dear.
The following year, 1927, is also the whole family at the same time, mid-August, and in the same Hotel España, to take the waters, as the Granada poet says in a letter to his friend Manuel de Falla, the waters of Capuchina have come in handy to Mrs. Vincent

And the poet accompanies she. But there is no record of him back to Lanjaron in other seasons although García Lorca family had to keep taking the waters, and that letter in 1928 directed his first teacher in Fuente Vaqueros, Antonio Espinosa Rodriguez says that his mother and girls are in Lanjaron.

However, in the play "Open Road" by Federico Garcia Lorca states that, as always, Federico spends with summers with family in Fuente Vaquero, Sierra Nevada but without providing any evidence. However, Juan Gutiérrez Padial indicates that he was with Federico in the Fountain of the Oleanders in 1934. Though puts between questions because he do not remember exactly, his exact words are important because the poet and the description of that source.

"The Barranquillo of the Oleanders. Ledge chiseled on the celestial dome of Lanjaron. Santa sactorum, the tabernacle, custody and where worships beauty." And in footnote states: In the Castle of Lanjaron the centuries fastened his bite. "Juan Gutierrez Padial then aged 23 years, 13 less than Federico was a restless student and budding poet and admire the genius who walked through these open landscapes to the winds."
The author believes that "it is difficult to accept that Federico came every summer so Padial Gutiérrez demonstrations and letters of Federico himself can confirm that the period of García Lorca visits to Lanjaron spanned a decade, from 1924-1934 ".

The correspondence of Federico García Lorca with references to Lanjaron is an interesting contribution of the author and lets us know the value of water of Lanjaron to remedy the strong hepatic colic often suffering by Doña Vicenta.

And it is precisely the postcard of the Moorish Castle of Lanjaron which Federico sends to Manuel de Falla, the first news that the researcher Gibson brings about the coming of the García Lorca family to Lanjaron.

The water and landscape of Lanjaron are reflected in the letters, some with the letterhead of the Hotel España as that sent to Sebastian Gasch, art critic and enthusiastic presenter in Catalonia at the time. Federico was staying in this hotel "which was then the best and was very close to the spa."

Many recipients as Jorge Guillén discovered the beauty of the landscape of Lanjaron through the photos accompanying Federico letters. So in sending him from Granada, on March 24, 1928, attached two photographs. On the back of one of them says: "Here I am on top of the Alpujarras where I went with two friends beside me are the guides the atmospheris is prodigious. Sierra Nevada is never seen. When we go together for these sites.... ?. the notion of Europe is lost."

The imprint of Lanjaron took root and left traces in many poems, writings and songs. And they all bore the name of Lanjaron in various places. In Lorca's soul was forever a fine taste of this magical waters.

Documentation: ”Federico García Lorca in Lanjaron. A poet and a landscape”, written by Manuel Arredondo Valenzuela and published in Libro de autores "Lanjaron. Paisajes del Agua” | Photos: M.Suarez | Our thanks to D. Luis Espínola García, Director General of Lanjaron Spa for all the facilities for this work. | Websites of interest for consultancy | | |

Grupo de agüistas. A la derecha Federico Garcia Lorca. (década 1920).Ilustración en " Garcia Lorca en Lanjarón. Un poeta y un Paisaje".

Periodista científica especializada en Medicina y Termalismo.
Miembro de la Sociedad Francesa de Termalismo y Talasoterapia
para la Salud Buco-Dental


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