Writer’s Homes: Lope de Vega and Cervantes

A while ago, I had the opportunity to visit the homes of Cervantes and Lope de Vega. They lived in the same time period (Spanish Golden Age) and they lived on the same street in Madrid!

On Calle de las Letras, the first house you see is Cervantes’. Unfortunately, you cannot tour inside it, but there’s a nice plaque.

Walking further down the street you find Lope de Vega’s house.

Lope de Vega’s house.

The tour inside the house was free (and in English!) but we weren’t allowed to take photos inside. I will tell you that his office was filled with old books and papers. He wrote over 1,800 plays!

While I couldn’t take pictures inside, we were allowed to take some photos of his backyard garden. The majority of the lower classes were impoverished and struggled to eat. Lope de Vega had a private garden for his food.

The secret garden.

It was said that Lope de Vega and Cervantes did meet each other. Lope de Vega felt that Cervantes was too quiet and introverted. Lope de Vega was more boisterous and a bit of a ladies’ man (he was even one of the lucky survivors of the ill fated Spanish Armada!) Even though Lope de Vega clearly produced more literary works, it appears that Cervantes is the one we all know.

Words written on the street about how this was where Lope de Vega lived.

Don Quixote by Cervantes is 900 pages, but a great read! Lope de Vega wrote poetry and plays. His most famous plays are Fuenteovejuna and Dog in the Manger. The Shakespeare Theatre sometimes produces his plays even now and they’re worth seeing.