Tall, lanky and with a serious countenance was that Moguereño who drew some of the most beautiful written passages about Huelva with his pen. It would be hard to find a better guide to the province than that that the Nobel laureate Juan Ramón Jiménez wrote accompanying his immortal Platero. The memory of him remains alive and fresh in his native Moguer, but also in the capital and those places that he visited during his childhood and early youth.
The Nobel legacy allows you to tour the County and the central coast of the province. Juan Ramón was born in Moguer, where his family had moved at the end of the 19th century to trade wine. His father was an exporter from La Rioja who came to what was then a rich and thriving wine region. A restless boy grew up between vineyards and pine forests and was educated between Moguer and the Institute of La Rábida in the capital, that city that, seen from his watchtower in Moguer, seemed distant and pink to him. This may be a good start to retrace his steps. The building remains in use and unchanged after a thorough rehabilitation. Declared BIC, it is a beautiful educational center through which hundreds of children pass, as did 125 years ago who, with his verses and careful prose, would leave unique passages.
After enjoying the views from the top of the Conquero, which at that time was clear, crowned the institute, it is time to cross the Tinto in a much more comfortable way than in its time. On the other side, Moguer’s profile looks distant. Along the way, an essential stop is La Rábida, convent where the discovery of America took place. Columbus stayed there before embarking on his journey. Juan Ramón and Platero walked through his gardens.
The place where Platero rests
The traveler who undertakes that short walk of just a few kilometers from the monastery to the cradle of the Nobel must carry his book in hand, it is essential. He will see on the horizon a white nucleus that Juan Ramón compared to bread: Moguer is the same as a wheat bread, white inside, like the crumb, and golden around—oh brown sun!—like the soft crust. Shortly before arriving you will see on your right and on a slight hill the house on the outskirts of the family. A country house where Platero rests «at the foot of the round and paternal pine» that April covers «with large yellow lilies». It is a private property although a beautiful view from the road.
As the town approaches, that other picture that the poet drew with his words is visible. The imposing tower of the church of Nuestra Señora de la Granada that «up close it looks like a Giralda seen from afar».
Moguer keeps very present the memory of his illustrious son. The streets are decorated with tiles where you can see verses and stanzas dedicated to the town, their customs or those same ones as lived by Juan Ramón Jiménez. But the real treasure is his houses, his material memories are waiting for the visitor who arrives already impregnated by the magic of his verses.
His birthplace is located on La Ribera street. There he lived four years. Inside a museum is focused on Moguer’s relationship with the Nobelhis family and how the environment where he was born influenced his life.
At 10 of the street that bears his name is the one that was his residence throughout his childhood and youth, the same one where he lived with Zenobia Campubrí, also a Spanish writer, translator and linguist, and who preserves both its library and the largest material heritage that is preserved from both. It is a large 18th century mansion structured around a large central courtyard with its cistern. In the corral, a bronze Platero reminds the visitor of the value of his partner in the work. It is the headquarters of the Foundation that bears his name and Zenobia and Juan Ramón Jiménez House Museum. The house maintains the original furniture, numerous manuscripts, personal belongings, a room dedicated to Platero in dozens of languages or the original telegram in which he was informed of the Nobel Prize. For the traveler there is a hidden surprise.
Juan Ramón’s greatest legacy is his countrymen, who carry him inside with pride. There is no moguereño who does not boast of his Nobel Prize, recite his poems or proudly show the charms of a town that also treasures a rich monumental heritage like the monastery of Santa Clara or the project to recover the historic port from the Columbian era.
The visit would not be complete without a farewell. Although he died in exile in Puerto Rico, Juan Ramón wanted to rest forever in the land where he was born. Moguer was his home and in his cemetery he shares space with Zenobia.
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After the legacy of Juan Ramón Jiménez, the Moguereño Nobel