Café Gijón

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Coordinates: 40°25′20.35″N 3°41′32.09″W / 40.4223194°N 3.6922472°W / 40.4223194; -3.6922472

Exterior wood façade of Café Gijón
Paseo de Recoletos, The café is on the left
A scene from the café on display in the nearby wax museum

Café Gijón (Also known as Gran Café de Gijón) is a culturally significant Coffeehouse[1] situated at No. 21,[2] in the principal boulevard of central Madrid, Spain, which is known as Paseo de Recoletos. The café is opposite both a railway station of the same name and the National Library of Spain (BNE). The terrace in front is on the central walkway of the Paseo.

History[edit]

It was established on 15 May 1888 by Gumersindo Gómez[3] (possibly Gunmersindo García).[1] and despite modest beginnings, after the Spanish Civil War it became a meeting-place for intellectuals, writers and artists collectively known as Generation of '36.

Tertulias[edit]

These were some of the more famous regular meetings or discussions:

  • La tertulia de los poetas A Poets' Corner led by Gerardo Diego
  • La juventud Creadora Creative Youth or Garcilasismo was one of the main currents of Spanish post-civil-war poetry
  • La Tertulia de Escritores y Lectores which was led by the Ateneo de Madrid a private cultural institution promoting scientific, literary and artistic talent, and loosely associated with the Institución Libre de Enseñanz movement which created the nearby Residencia de Estudiantes.

Famous Patrons[edit]

  • Carlos Oroza Performance poet - born in Viveiro – Spain May 13, 1933
  • Diego Medrano (Oviedo, Spain, 1978) is a Spanish poet, narrator and regular columnist of Asturian newspaper El Comercio.
  • Francisco Umbral (born Francisco Pérez Martínez, May 11, 1932 - August 28, 2007) a Spanish journalist, novelist, biographer and essayist.
  • Juan Benet (October 7, 1927 – January 5, 1993) a Spanish writer.
  • Eduardo Alfonso and Mario Rosso, founders of the Schola Philosophicae Initiationis, a philosophical-initiatic organization of short theosophical works created in Madrid in 1928

Café Gijón Prize[edit]

El Premio Café Gijón [4] is an annual Spanish literary award for an outstanding novel. The idea, conceived in 1949 by Fernando Fernán Gómez Fernan Gomez, Gerardo Diego, Camilo Jose Cela Enrique Jardiel Poncela and other leaders of the Tertulias was to promote those meetings and to create an independent prize to compete with Nadal Prize, which was organised by commercial publishers.

Although the award was originally managed by the Café Gijón, and is now financed by the tourism agency of the northern port city of Gijón in (Asturias, it is only concerned with the spread of quality literature and the promotion of authors whose work may not otherwise be published for lack of funds. Although winners receive no financial prize, the award attracts considerable media attention which promotes both the winning authors and of course the sponsors of the prize.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Antonio Espina, «Las tertulias de Madrid», Madrid, Alianza, 1995
  2. ^ José Esteban,Blanca Mena,Pilar Mateos,Marta Menacho Julián Marcos, Mariano Tudela, (2002), «El libro del Café Gijón»,Madrid
  3. ^ Angel del Río López, (2003), «Los viejos cafés de Madrid», Ed. Madrid, ISBN 978-84-95889-46-1
  4. ^ See: es:Premio Café Gijón

External links[edit]