When you walk the streets of the old town of Las Palmas you will probably hit in some way into Benito Pérez Galdós. There is his theatre, his statue, his museum, or even his excursion. Unfortunately, most foreigners have never heard about this important Spanish celebrity. So let me introduce you to this interesting gentleman.
Benito Pérez Galdós was possibly the second most important Spanish writer of all time. Just one step behind the famous Miguel de Cervantes and his Don Quijote. Pérez Galdós was born in Las Palmas in 1843 in the Triana district. While studying the high school in La Laguna (Tenerife island), he already wrote his first poems and stories.
When he was 19 years old, his parents sent him to Madrid to separate him from love they didn´t approve of. That changed his life. He was supposed to study the law, but that was definitely not his cup of tea. Instead of that, he was walking through the capital town all day long enchanted by its streets and people. That influences his novels and thanks to that we can make a realistic idea about Madrid in the second half of the 19th century when reading his books.
Fortunata and Jacinta
In his masterpiece “Fortunata and Jacinta” you can learn a lot about the Spanish society of those times. It is a very complex love story (tragedy I would say) about 2 girls. They were born in very different social classes but their lives cross fighting for the love of the same man.
Pérez Galdós was a very engaged liberal progresist, republican, socialist and anticleric. Those days the authorities didn´t perceive that very well so he didn´t get the Nobel Prize in 1905.
For the last 8 years of his life, he was blind and dictated his last novels and dramas to his secretary. Even though he couldn´t see it any more, finally, 2 years before his death, he got his first monument. Pérez Galdós was the most important Canarian author. He changed the Spanish literature and was fighting for the progress of Spain.
On the corners of the streets C/Cano and C/Los Malteses you can visit the birthplace of this important writer. The beautiful 18th-century house is a typical example of the traditional urban architecture of the Triana district. The house was recreated using the exquisite furniture of the house of Pérez Galdós in Santander. Thanks to his artistic talent he designed many of those pieces. You can catch a guided visit here every hour on the hour. The museum and the guided visit are free of charge and guided in Spanish, English and German. For more details about the museum, you can visit its website: www.casamuseoperezgaldos.com