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Late Hotel Comercio

During the first two years of his stay in Baeza, Antonio Machado lived alone, still without his mother, Mrs. Ana Ruiz, in the now vanished Hotel Comercio, the only inn in the entire city, located on Calle San Pablo.

Today the hotel is converted into flats and only its facade is preserved. Until its transformation, the room was preserved as it was occupied by the poet, number 15 on the first floor, whose balcony overlooked the front of the Palacio de los Salcedo and had a view to the mountains of Magina to the west.

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New Casino

The Casino de Señores, or New Casino, was an important meeting point for Machado.

The casino is still located in the same historic building on Calle de San Pablo. In his hall of mirrors, the poet sometimes prolonged his gatherings and upon request, you can see the document where the poet appears as the first passing member of the casino.

A beautiful seated sculpture of the poet has been placed next to the facade of the building, made by the sculptor Antonio Pérez Almahano in 2009.

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Casino de Artesanos

Another meeting point for Machado was the old Casino de Artesanos, which has now disappeared. This casino witnessed some of the most unique episodes of Machado’s passage through Baeza and it is here where, one evening, he met a young Federico García Lorca who was still more of a musician than a writer.

One of these episodes occurred as soon as he arrived in this city and went to introduce himself to the director of the institute at his home. Upon arrival, they told him that he was in “agony” and Machado replied: “I am deeply sorry”; until they clarify that they were referring to the Casino de los Artesanos. They called the casino “the agony” because its members, mostly farmers, spent their time predicting ruins due to the poor state of the crops and the lack of rain.

The second episode, artistically more profound, occurred when he met a young Federico García Lorca at the Casino de los Artesanos, still more of a musician than a writer. The poet from Granada visited Baeza in both 1916 and 1917 as a member of the group of students at the University of Granada led by Domínguez Berrueta, professor of Theory of Literature and the Arts. One soiree was held in one of the Casino´s rooms, in which Antonio Machado recited verses by Rubén Darío and fragments of La Tierra de Alvargonzález for the travelers, while the young student Federico García Lorca played Andalusian pieces on the piano such as the Danza de la Vida Breve de Failure.

The Land of Alvargonzález. Antonio Machado




They approached the spring.

As the clear water flowed,

it sounded as though it were

telling an old story, told

a thousand times, and then

repeated a thousand times. (…)

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Rebotica by Don Adolfo Almazán

Machado used to attend the gatherings that were held in the afternoons in the back room of Don Adolfo Almazán, gymnastics teacher at the institute and mayor of the city in 1914.

The original building of the Almazán pharmacy was located on Calle de San Francisco, in front of the old Franciscan convent. The pharmacy was in operation until the seventies of the 20th century. Later the building where it was located was closed and then demolished. In these meetings, although the poet used to keep quiet and listen to others, they talked about politics, the country and the weather. Some gatherings where Machado would join the pharmacist’s friends: the doctor, a councilor, the director of the institute, a lawyer, the notary, the registrar and the institute’s secretary.



(…)It’s nighttime. People are chatting in the back of a store.

“I don’t know,

don José,

how these liberals can be so rotten, so immoral.”(…)

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Residence in Gaspar Becerra street

The professor’s salary did not allow Antonio Machado many expenses, so he soon had to leave the Hotel Comercio and look for rental accommodation.

First, he rented a house to reside with his mother on Prado de la Cárcel Street (today Pasaje del Cardenal Benavides), but he found it ramshackle and cold, so he moved to another, although more modest, as he found it more comfortable and bright. An adjoining house on the same street, which was on the corner of Calle Gaspar Becerra, from where Machado could see the Plateresque façade of the old jail, today Baeza City Hall. He lived there, alone or temporarily accompanied by members of his family, until his transfer to Segovia in 1919.

Currently there is a mosaic (Pasaje del Cardenal Benavides) and a plaque (Gaspar Becerra Street) that recall the presence of the poet in this house.

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«Santísima Trinidad» Institute of Baeza

Machado arrived in Baeza to take possession of the French language chair called, at the time, General and Technical Institute, now the “Santísima Trinidad” Institute.



(…) This humble teacher

at a rural high school

has always admired you,

oh Rector of Salamanca. (…)

The center is located in what was the Renaissance headquarters of the old University of Baeza, with buildings added over time. The poet occupied a classroom on the ground floor to teach French, which is still intact and can be visited as a classroom-museum. In the classroom-museum, furniture, belongings and documentation related to Machado’s life as a teacher are exhibited: old desks, the teacher’s chair with a brazier (the classroom, like the town, is also damp and cold), wooden coat rack, umbrella…

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Headquarters of the International University of Andalusia “Antonio Machado”

The International University of Andalusia (UNIA) is an institution to support the Andalusian science and technology system in postgraduate training, research, knowledge transfer, digitization, permanent training and internationalization. In homage to the poet, the UNIA headquarters in Baeza bears his name.

The UNIA is located in two buildings: the Jabalquinto Palace, from the late 15th century and in the Renaissance style, and the Old Conciliar Seminary, a Baroque building nestled in the Plaza de Santa María, opposite the Cathedral -also Renaissance- and the High Town Hall -belonging to the Gothic-, both from the 17th century.

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Plaza de Santa María and Cathedral

Machado let us learn that his hobbies were walking and reading. José Chamorro, in his work Antonio Machado in the Province of Jaén, attempts to reconstruct the poet’s itinerary on his walks: “the streets of Santo Domingo, San Pablo, San Andrés, Puerta de Úbeda, Arco del Barbudo, etc. .; highlighting “places as artistic and Spanish as the Plaza de la Catedral with its monumental fountain, erected with the majesty of a triumphal arch, a square as solemn as it is solitary with the moss of the old walls and the green grass between the slabs and stones of the pavement”.

During his wanderings through the historic center of Baeza, Machado has left some stanzas dedicated to this space, such as the famous poem of San Cristobalón.



Through a tall window

the owl flew

into the cathedral.

When he saw it was drinking

from the oil lamp

of the Virgin Mary,

Saint Cristobalón

tried to scare it away.

The Virgin spoke:

“Let it drink,

Saint Cristobalón.”

The Cathedral of Baeza, cultural Heritage since 1931, has been erected on successive buildings: a Roman temple, later a mosque, until its conversion to Christian worship in the 12th century. Since then it has undergone numerous architectural transformations up to its current state, with multiple elements from different periods, such as the Puerta de la Luna, in the Mudejar Gothic style.

The Puerta del Perdón( Forgiveness Door), in the Gothic style; or the main façade which is in the Renaissance style, which is its most dominant character. Andrés de Vandelvira collaborated in the Renaissance reform.

The interior of the Cathedral of Baeza also presents different styles, with Gothic pillars, ribbed vaults, Renaissance grills, Mudejar chapels and Renaissance chapels, as well as the main altarpiece, in the Baroque style.

Inside the Cathedral you can find the Cathedral Museum, which preserves pieces of great value and recognized prestige.

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Walk of the walls

Progressively, Antonio Machado got used to the rural environment of Baeza and its dazzling landscape outside the city. He enjoyed peri-urban walks that took him to the Cerro del Alcázar and over the remains of the old wall. One of the spaces most frequented by Antonio Machado, who walked it again and again in his meditation exercises.

At one point along the walk, a plaque and a monument to Antonio Machado with a bust of Pablo Serrano remind us of the poet today. This sculpture was made to pay homage to the poet in 1966, although it did not arrive in Baeza until 1983. From the viewpoints of the promenade it dominates the middle valley of the Guadalquivir with its beautiful horizon carpeted with olive trees and cut out by the mountains of Cazorla, Mágina and Los Aznaitín and Jabalcuz mountains.

This scenery served as an escape and a boost to his creative capacity, as here he conceived sublime verses that describe this landscape.



of the old Moorish city,

I contemplate the silent afternoon,

alone with my shadow and my grief.

The river is flowing

between shady gardens

and gray olive groves,

through the cheerful fields of Baeza.

The vineyards have golden vines

on the red stocks.

The Guadalquivir shines and reflects

like the pieces of a broken cutlass.(…)

Monumento a Antonio Machado en el Paseo de las Murallas
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Park on the way to Puerto de Tíscar

In a recently built park on the way to the port of Tíscar, the City Council of Quesada has honored Antonio Machado with some ceramics where fragments of the poem Apuntes para una geografía emotional de España are reproduced.



In Alicún they sing:

“If the moon is rising,

better under the olive trees

than in the esparto grass.”


And in the Sierra de Quesada:

“I am living in mortal sin:

I ought not to love you;

therefore I love you more.”