Antonio Machado came to the city on 25th November, 1919, to take up the post of professor of French in the Instituto de Segovia. Several days later he came to live in this house, a pension run by Luisa Torrego. He remained here until 1932.
In the final months of 1919, along with a group of Segovian intellectuals and men of letters, he founded the People's University in Segovia.
Its founders wanted to bring culture to the people. They were teachers, among others, José Rodao, writer and teacher at the Escuela Normal; Segundo Gila, doctor; Antonio Machado, poet and high school Professor; Javier Caballero, architect and Mariano Quintanilla, lawyer and graduate in Philosophy and Letters. Other speakers included Daniel Zuloaga, Blas Zambrano, Luis Carretero Nieva, Manuel García Morente and Eugenio D´Ors.
Following a number of years without a fixed headquarters, in 1927 the opportunity arose to acquire the former Romanesque Church of San Quirce, which had been converted into a hay barn and storage house. Not only was it an opportunity to acquire his own building but also to save the church from probable destruction. .
They created a circulating library to which each of the founders donated a series of books, in the case of Antonio Machado fifty books from his private collection. The circulating library was taken from village to village, part of which remains at the Antonio Machado House-Museum.
They carried out Educational Missions: displaying art reproductions from the balconies of the town hall, they projected films; they used a phonograph, recorder and player to record songs and ballads which have survived to the present day.
Photographs of all these memories, and even the phonograph, can be seen at the Antonio Machado House Museum in Segovia.
The Real Academia de Historia y Arte de San Quirce [Royal Academy of History and Art of San Quirce] continues to maintain constant cultural activity and has been a part of the Instituto de España since 1966. In June, 1997, His Majesty the King, conceded it the Royal title. It has also maintained, since it was founded, an interest in all aspects of Segovian culture, advising on, informing and organising exhibitions, conferences etc.
Many of these are events to celebrate and remember Machado in the House Museum. One of the most important of these is that of 22th February, the date of his death. Every year poems are recited before a bust of the poet to pay homage to the writer.
Here the Festival de Narradores Orales "La poesía también cuenta" [Festival of Oral Narrators "Poetry also Counts"] is held, in which recitals of modern-day poetry can be enjoyed.
The programme of activities at the Antonio Machado House Museum, organised by the tourism department of the Town Hall, also pays homage to the poet's memory contributing to the dissemination of the poet and his connection to the city. The People's University, years after the poet's death, acquired the house and set up this simple museum.
In the garden, among rose bushes and ivy, a copy of the bust of the poet by Emiliano Barral scuplted in 1920 can be seen; also there is a ceramic panel by Julián López Parras.
In the house there are portraits of the poet, his furniture, keepsakes, pictures of Leonor and Guiomar; the memory of his time in the city.
C/ de los Desamparados, 5
Tel. 921 46 03 77