17 May Ourense, a city in love with culture and letters
Ourense always had a special relationship with the world of arts and culture. In its most splendid moment, at the beginning of the 20th century, it came to be known as the “Athens of Galicia”, the birthplace of the so-called Nós Generation, intellectuals who led the renewal and modernization of Galician culture.
The epithet is not capricious: a very important list of writers, musicians and artists are very closely linked to the old Auria and have left their traces in it. There are those who say that the mists of the Minho and the heat of the ground water enliven the imagination, awaken the imagination and sharpen the irony of its people: a way of being that has given the city its most creative and inspired profile. In your visit, in addition to touring the streets and appreciating the monuments, an original way of getting to know Ourense would be to approach the artistic work that has taken place there.
Ourense is undoubtedly the city most portrayed in the letters of Galicia. For reading lovers will always be the Auria shaped by the writer Eduardo Blanco Amor in works such as Xente ao lonxe or Os Biosbardos, but especially in his best novel, A Esmorga, a work taken to the movies on several occasions, being the last film by director Ignacio Villar, shot in most of the corners of the city where the original text is set. At present, a route identified with ceramic plates scattered through the streets of the old city allows to follow the footsteps of its three protagonists in their nocturnal raids.
The city was also portrayed by Carlos Casares in his Ilustrísima or by Camilo José Cela in Mazurca for two dead, and in recent years Diego Ameixeiras has renamed it as Oregon, scene of black and police fiction. Outside of the books, here are some of the most symbolic spaces of the culture in Galicia: writers’ houses, chat rooms, libraries, printing houses and newsrooms: the first Galician newspaper written in the 19th century was published here. Here also was born in the early 20th century the magazine Nós, the voice of a whole generation of European intellectuals who took Galician culture beyond its borders: Vicente Risco, Otero Pedrayo, Florentino López Cuevillas, Valentín Lamas Carvajal, Xesús Ferro Couselo, Marcelo Macias …
To these names are added other essential ones that were born here, lived or worked: the illustrated Jerónimo Feijoo, Juan Antonio Saco and Arce (author of the first Galician grammar), Curros Enríquez, the poet José Ángel Valente, the sisters Pura and Dora Vázquez … In all the city of As Burgas left its mark.
May 17 – Day of Galician Letters
The Day of Galician Letters of 2017 is dedicated to the figure of Carlos Casares (Ourense, 1941 – Vigo, 2002), in recognition of a lifetime of commitment to Galician literature and culture. Casares belongs to that particular literary galaxy of writers who found inspiration in Ourense for their texts. Throughout his career as an editor, journalist, cultural dynamist and literary, this Ouranse illustrious portrayed in many occasions the city that gave birth to him, turning the old Auria into the stage of some of his best novels: Ilustrísima, Cambio en tres, God sitting on a blue armchair …
Taking advantage of the efémeride, Ourense has an old debt with the author when launching in 2017 a literary route in which to trace the steps of the author and his work by different spaces of the city and its rural perimeter. There are 20 stages, most of them concentrated in a short walk between the Historical Center and the Ensanche, then ending with two more distant stops: one in this spectacular viewpoint over the city that is the Minor Seminary and another in the beautiful church from the rural center of Beiro, 9 km from the center. The route can be consulted in the web of tourism of Ourense:
The city celebrates this festive date with multiple actors, including the concert offered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia on 16th at 8.30 pm in the Municipal Auditorium or the singer Emilio Rúa on 17th, of the Paseo. At the same time, José Ángel Valente Cultural Center is hosting the exhibition “The worlds of Carlos Casares”, which honors the author through more than 500 pieces directly linked to his life and work: manuscripts, portraits, photographs, objects …