After four years of waiting, the date is set for the reconstruction of Villa Amparo, the residence of the famous poet Antonio Machado in Rocafort.
The Ministry of Culture announced its intention to rehabilitate Villa Amparo, the residence of the poet Antonio Machado in Rocafort during the Spanish Civil War. After four years of waiting, this project was finally awarded a tentative deadline: the year 2022. Once it is finished, it will be an important addition to the tourist attractions of the small town near Valencia.
The house was bought by the Generalitat for €1.4 million in 2018, and since then it has become clear that Villa Amparo will be renovated and transformed into an area of significant cultural importance. On 24 January 2020, the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, accompanied by the former President of the Spanish Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, announced that the house would become the “House of Poets,” but not much more has been done, apart from inventing a pretentious name. However, Generalitat has recently begun drawing up a technical intervention report on the partial demolition of certain parts of the property, which is certainly a sign that things have begun to move.
Right now, Villa Amparo is in a sad state, abandoned, and overrun with weeds and rats. One of the most prominent villas of the era, it was a place where, a few months after the beginning of the Spanish civil war and faced with the danger that Madrid would be isolated, Antonio Machado and his family agreed to be transferred. The villa, confiscated at that time by the Republican Government, was a decent place for an artist of his stature. With an area of about 350 square metres and a large garden, it was the home of Machado from 1936 to 1938 and an oasis in which he received intellectuals such as Octavio Paz, Rafael Alberti, Max Aub, María Zambrano and Pablo Neruda.
Antonio Machado was one of the most prominent Spanish poets and a member of the ’98 generation, including writers such as Jacinto Benavente, Carlos Arniches and Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. Although not very long in Valencia, despite the gradual deterioration of his health, the poet worked tirelessly, writing commentaries, articles, analyses, poems and speeches.
In the face of the danger of the occupation of Valencia, the Machado family moved to Barcelona at the end of May 1938. On 22 January, 1939, just before Franco’s forces entered the city, Machado and his family left Barcelona and went to France among the hundreds of thousands of Spaniards fleeing their homeland. He died in exile only a month after arriving in Collioure.
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