La Casa de Velázquez de Madrid (1916-1959)un ejemplo de destrucción patrimonial en la guerra civil española

  1. García Herranz, Ana
Supervised by:
  1. Juan Miguel Sánchez Vigil Director
  2. José Luis Gonzalo Sánchez-Molero Director

Defence university: Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Fecha de defensa: 17 October 2016

  1. José María de Francisco Olmos Chair
  2. Federico Ayala Sörenssen Secretary
  3. Juan Antonio Yeves Andrés Committee member
  4. Emilio Torné Valle Committee member
  5. Beatriz de las Heras Herrero Committee member
  1. Biblioteconomía y Documentación

Type: Thesis


Casa de Velázquez in Madrid is a French institution whose object is to promote the cultural exchange between France and Spain. It was designed and created by prominent figures of the French cultural circles - academics, university professors and officials - during the first third of the twentieth century, with the aim of strengthening the cultural and diplomatic links that would benefit both nations. Its location, in the Ciudad Universitaria (the University area), is a result of a tax burden-free donation of a farming field in La Moncloa that belonged to the royal Crown. The transfer was carried out by king Alfonso XIII, the greatest and best Spanish benefactor of this institution. The building was designed as a residence for French students that came to Spain to finalize their Art (painting, sculpture, architecture, engraving, music, etc.) and Humanities (history, philology, archeology, numismatics, etc.) studies in the Spanish culture. Hence its very Spanish name, which was chosen by its first director and one of its promoters: Pierre Paris, professor of Archeology and Art History at the Faculty of Humanities in the University of Bordeaux. It was inaugurated on the 20th of November, 1928, with great pomp and circumstance, and with great expectations regarding its future; but there was barely any time for the promises placed among it to become true, as only 8 years after its opening it laid completely destroyed, in its same location. An inscription in the medal coined by Mariano Benlliure for the inaugurational opening stated: No force can dissolve the love of Art (Artis amore junctam nulla vis solvet). This was a prophecy of which the opposite became true, as there was in fact a cyclonic force that managed to dissolve, defeat and completely destroy the product of that love: the Spanish Civil War. Nothing predicted that Franco's army would try to seize the Spanish capital, after his sublevation in July 1936, and that he would do so through the recently inaugurated Ciudad Universitaria. It was a well planned ploy prepared by Franco's generals: to keep the enemy in the south of Madrid, making them believe that the attack would come from there, but attacking instead from the west. Nothing predicted that the city of Madrid, immersed in the chaos during the day of the attack, would manage to stop the fascist force, turning the coup against the Republican Government into a fratricidal war that would last almost three years...