Sun. Jan 17th, 2021

A book reviews legends, stories and emotions from the streets of the Andalusian city

It is difficult to forget the name of the street in which we lived in childhood the name of our first home after leaving the family home or that curious corner that aroused our attention so much

The evocative and sentimental value of the streets in the personal experiences of each one is undeniable

In cities like Granada in addition to these personal stories is added the mysterious effect of a street map full of enigmatic evocative names and often difficult to know what they refer to

The city center is home to streets with enigmatic names such as Niños fighting Cobertizo and Faltriquera Callejón del Aljibe de la Vieja or Calle Tablas are perhaps less evocative but they also hide stories perhaps legends striking The emotional street book of Granada it clarifies these stories and legends behind each of the 2109 streets avenues squares and solarillos almonas or laundries of the city

Francisco González Arroyo is along with Mikel Astrain and Juan Antonio Lao one of the authors of this emotional street map

Astrain Navarrese and professor at the University of Granada struck up a friendship by chatting and walking around the city with González and Lao his students in the History degree

On his walks González Arroyo recalls Mikel asked the reason for the names and of course as historians we wanted to make our knowledge available to others In 2014 they got down to business In 2019 the publishing house of the University of Granada and Comares released a first edition that just a few months ago has been expanded to a second

González Arroyo and Astrain agree that Niños fighting or Cobertizo and Faltriquera both in the center of the city are two especially striking names

The first owes its name to a history of Moors In an unidentified house on that road in the seventeenth century two brothers were fighting to see who was stronger

One of the blows legend has it struck a partition in which a ceramic chest with a small treasure of gold and silver coins appeared The childrens father had a basrelief placed with two children fighting And here it is transposed to the street map the reason and title of the street explain the authors

In Cobertizo y Faltriquera the street worker says there was a shed in which a candy seller took refuge that gave access to a house in which pouch was made

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The streets González Arroyo recalls have always had names What they have not always had is lettering

Order on the street was imposed in 1858 in a process that took a couple of years A royal order obliged to name the streets number the houses and later to label the streets

The latter González says is something that is not always done carefully And sometimes the result is not trivial In the Calle Vidrio de San Lázaro named after a store of green glass carafes and demijohns located on the site a number problem arises according to the authors

Glass is labeled in one of the sections and glass in the other It would be good for the City Council to agree on which is the good one In the Callejón de la Albérzana at one end it is with a tilde and at the other without it completely distorting the word of Arabic origin that gives the place its name

The author is more hurt by the lack of accent on Cáñar Street They forgot the accent and in the end the street refers to a reed or cane field and not to the town of the Alpujarras that the city wanted to honor

González Arroyo recalls a very Granada characteristic Popular names have always prevailed over those of the provost even if these were the official ones And he remembers the case of Plaza Nueva which during a period of Francoism became the Plaza of General Franco a name that no one ever used not even the City Council in their official documents

Along these lines says the author it is also true that the street contains many vulgar names although custom makes them go unnoticed And remember Tablas Street named after the boards that butchers used to display meat for sale Nearby is Lavadero de las Tablas where they were cleaned at the end of the day

Callejero emotional explains not only the stories and legends of its streets especially many of the latter in the Albaycín and downtown neighborhoods says Mikel Astrain

He also reviews who are the characters that appear on the handmade ceramic plates that are used in the city to label the streets Decades had to wait for the most universal writer from Granada to be in one of them

Federico García Lorca had no street in Granada until the eighties And after him Yerma or Dona Rosita also rose to the signs of the Granada street map

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