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Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, legend of Seville


Joyful Seville, an explosion of sensations full of feelings, shades and nuances, the inspiration for the poetic universe of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (Seville, 1836- Madrid, 1870).

Poet of love

Poet and writer. On 17 February 1836, at number 26 on the Calle Conde de Barajas in the Sevillian neighbourhood of San Lorenzo, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquerwas born, the son of José Insausti Domínguez Bécquer and Joaquina Bastida Vargas. His father was a Costumbrist painter better known as José Bécquer, a surname originating from Flemish ancestors who settled in Andalusia at the end of the 16th century.

Bécquer probably began his studies at the school of San Antonio Abad, but from 1846, onwards he studies at the School of Mareantes de San Telmo, a boarding school subsidised by the government for orphans and poor children of noble stock.


Already orphaned at 11 years of age, he was taken in by his aunts; at that time he often his godmother Manuela Monnehay, in whose house there was a splendid library full of works by Zorrilla, Espronceda, Chateaubriand, Balzac, Byron, Victor Hugo and Hoffmann, and reading of the latter is perhaps what awoke Bécquer's taste for legends and fantasy. During these years he also worked as an apprentice at the studios of the painters Antonio Cabral Bejarano and his uncle Joaquín Domínguez. Although he admired painting and never stopped drawing, Bécquer's tastes leaned more towards literature.

"You will never be a good painter, but you'll be a bad writer”, said his uncle Joaquín, who turned out to be wrong because with works like Rhymes and Legends he became one of the best authors in Spanish literature.

Bécquer's Seville

Seville was the birthplace of the poet, proof of which can be found in a monument in the María Luisa Park erected under the initiative of the Álvarez Quintero brothers. The Glorieta de Bécquer, the most famous in this park, is located opposite the Plaza de España.


Created in 1910, it is dominated by an impressive cypress tree which provides shade for the whole enclosure and comprises a bust of the poet on a pedestal, based on a portrait painted by his brother Valeriano, and behind there are three female figures lying on a bench: "expectant love”"love possessed" and "love lost", which represent the rhyme "The passage of love". Next to them there are two bronze reclining figures that represent "wounded love” and the other is a young Cupid as love which wounds.


This monument is a national reference point for the romantic style and era.

The Convent of Santa Inés

If you look hard enough, you can even find the organ of the legendary Maese Pérez, in the Church in the Convent of Santa Inés, and his tomb, in the Pantheon of Illustrious Sevillians at the Church of La Anunciación, where the remains of the poet lie next to his brother Valeriano.

The convent is located on Calle Doña María Coronel, in the city centre, close to Plaza de San Pedro.


In the wall facing the lower choir, at the foot of the central nave, we'll find the popular organ, one of the oldest in Seville, that the poet immortalised in his work Maese Pérez the organist.

Legend has it that Maese Pérez, the organist at the Cathedral, after his death, would return on Christmas Eve to the Convent of Santa Inés, where his daughter was playing the organ.

Dwellings in Seville

The poet was born at Conde de Barajas, number 26 on 17 February 1836. All that remains of this house is the façade, where there is a memorial plaque.

He was baptised in the San Lorenzo Parish Church, on the 27th, ten days after his birth.


He studied at School of San Francisco on the Calle Jesús del Gran Poder number 29, (there is a commemorative plaque), today the house has been refurbished for other uses.

He lived for a time in the nearby Calle Potro number 6 (house of his uncles).

Next to the San Vicente Parish Church on the Calle Alfaqueque, at the corner of Mendoza Ríos, is where Gustavo lived with his brother Valeriano during the years before the moved to Madrid, the city to which the Bécquer family moved in 1841 after the death of the father.

The last house

The same happened to one of the first houses in the Calle de Mendoza Ros, which was the last residence of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer in Seville before leaving for Madrid at the age of 18. The building which stands at number 29 of Calle Jesús del Gran Poder was once the School of San Francisco de Paula. A plaque confirms that Gustavo Adolfo spent some time there during the first years of his secondary studies.


Museum of Fine Arts

Visit the portrait of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer in Hall 12 on the first floor, dedicated to 19th century Seville painting.

The portrait was painted by his brother Valeriano Domínguez Bécquer in 1862, the year he went to Madrid.


It is the most recognisable image of the poet and appears in numerous text books and publications. For many years this image appeared on the one hundred peseta note, which is no longer in circulation. It can be considered one of the main works of Spanish Romantic painting. Here, the poet has an air of elegance, looking directly at the spectator and full of emotion.

Walk 1: María Luisa Park - Bécquer - Plaza de España - Calle San Fernando - Seville University - Jewish Quarter - Real Alcázar - Cathedral.

Walk 2: Calle Sierpes - La Campana - Metropol Parasol - Church of La Anunciación - San Pedro Church - Calle Doña María Coronel - Convent of Santa Inés - Las Dueñas Palace.

Walk 3Calle Conde Barajas - Basilica of Nuestro Padre Jesús del Gran Poder - San Lorenzo Parish Church - Calle Eslava.

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, legend of Seville
Calle Conde de Barajas, 26. 41002. Sevilla (Sevilla)