How many cities did Lope live in?


Lope de Vega lived in six cities: Madrid, Seville, Valencia, Salamanca, Alcalá de Henares and Toledo.
Madrid is, without a doubt, Lope's city, as he was born and died there, and lived there for a large part of his life. Many of his works take place in this city. There is a Lope's Madrid, of the streets, buildings, corners... connected to his life and his work.
Seville took him in as a child, when he was in the house of his uncle the Inquisitor, but it was also where the poet resided during his years of plenty as a playwright. He lived there with his lover Micaela de Luján. The city then was rich and vital, with people everywhere, people of all types, attracted by the treasures that arrived from the Indies. The "Southern Babylon" is present in many of Lope's plays, who collected and performed the most popular Sevillian-themed songs: "River of Seville/ how fine you seem / with white galleys / and green branches!"
Exiled from the kingdom of Castile, upon his return from the military, from the Great Armada, he lived in Valencia with his wife Isabel de Urbina. The city left Lope with beautiful memories, he made good friends, like Guillén de Castro. It can also be seen in his work. Lope de Vega studied for four years of his youth in Alcalá de Henares, and several more at the University of Salamanca, a time when he resided in Alba de Tormes. In some of his texts he discusses both university cities.
Among the Castilian cities where he lived, Toledo stands out. Here they performed many of his plays. Furthermore, Toledo is the scene of some of his theatrical works.

Lope de Vega traveled a great deal, despite how long and complicated travelling between cities at that time was. His trips were mainly for work. Denia, Granada, Segovia, Valladolid, Avila, Burgos and Lerma were some of his destinations. The journey between two points in the Spain of that time was a true adventure. For instance, in 1660, it took Phillip IV a month to reach Irún from the capital, and cost a million ducats. In the 16th century, a team of mules could cover six or eight leagues a day. The first stagecoach was not used until 17th century. These were six-wheeled calashes pulled by twenty horses that could carry up to forty people.

Some texts and their geographic location:

  • El mejor Alcalde el rey was developed in Galicia and Leon
  • Fuenteovejuna, in Cordoba
  • Peribañez y el Comendador de Ocaña, in Toledo
  • El caballero de Olmedo, throughout the Castilian lands of Valladolid
  • La Estrella de Sevilla, in Seville
  • Porfiar hasta morir, surroundings of Cordoba
  • El peregrino en su patria, in Barcelona
  • Los Ponces de Barcelona, in Barcelona and other Catalan cities
  • La viuda valenciana, in Valencia
  • Los locos de Valencia, in Valencia
  • El bobo del Colegio, in Salamanca
  • El Arenal de Sevilla, in Seville

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