Hemingway in Spain

Hello everyone! I want to tell you about Ernest Hemingway. Surely many of you have read some of his masterpieces, such as “The sun also rises”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” or “The Old Man and the Sea”. But did you know that Hemingway had a very special relationship with Spain? Yes, friends, this genius of letters fell in love with our country and visited it on several occasions, leaving his mark in places like Pamplona, Madrid, Burguete or San Sebastian. In this post I am going to tell you a little more about Hemingway’s life and work in Spain, and I invite you to follow his footsteps through the north of our geography. Are you in?

Hemingway came to Spain for the first time in 1923, when he was a young journalist in search of adventure and excitement. He was attracted by Spanish culture, especially bullfighting and popular festivals. That is how he came to know the Sanfermines of Pamplona, a celebration that captivated him and that he captured in his novel “The sun also rises”, published in 1926. In this work, Hemingway narrates the adventures of a group of foreign friends who travel to Pamplona to enjoy the running of the bulls, the bullfights and the festive atmosphere. The novel was a success and turned Pamplona into an international tourist destination. Today, you can follow Hemingway’s route through the city, visiting places such as the Café Iruña, the Hotel La Perla or the Plaza de Toros.

ernest-heminway-spain

But Hemingway did not only stay in Pamplona. He also explored other areas of northern Spain, such as Navarra, La Rioja or the Basque Country. He liked to fish for trout in the Pyrenean rivers, taste the local gastronomy and stay in charming rural houses. One of his favorite places was Burguete, a village in Navarre where he stayed several times at the Hotel Burguete. There he wrote part of his novel “The sun also rises”. Another obligatory stop was San Sebastian, the elegant coastal city where Hemingway enjoyed the sea, the beach and the pintxos. It is said that he used to frequent the bar La Cepa, the restaurant Casa Nicolasa or the Hotel María Cristina.

Hemingway returned to Spain in 1936, but this time with a very different motive: to cover the Civil War as a correspondent. He settled in Madrid, at the Hotel Florida, and from there he sent his chronicles of the conflict. He also actively participated in the Republican cause, supporting the international brigadists and collaborating with filmmaker Joris Ivens in the documentary “Land of Spain”. His war experience inspired him to write another of his great novels: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, published in 1940. In this work, Hemingway tells the story of an American soldier fighting against the fascists in the mountains of Segovia.

After the war, Hemingway returned to Spain several more times, always faithful to his passion for bullfighting and fiestas.

Ernest Hemingway San Sebastian

Hemingway in Spain: One of Hemingway’s favorite destinations in Spain was Hemingway San Sebastian, a coastal city in the Basque Country known for its picturesque beaches and delicious pintxos.

One of the iconic locations associated with Hemingway in Spain is Pamplona, where he attended the famous San Fermín festival. Hemingway’s experiences in Pamplona inspired his novel “The Sun Also Rises,” capturing the essence of the bullfighting culture and the lively atmosphere of the festival.

Madrid was another significant city in Hemingway’s Spanish adventures. He frequented the literary and social scenes of the Spanish capital, immersing himself in the vibrant culture of cafes, bullfights, and flamenco music. Hemingway’s time in Madrid influenced his writing and deepened his connection to Spain.

Hemingway spain locations

One of the iconic locations associated with Hemingway in Spain is Pamplona, where he attended the famous San Fermín festival. Hemingway’s experiences in Pamplona inspired his novel “The Sun Also Rises,” capturing the essence of the bullfighting culture and the lively atmosphere of the festival.

Madrid was another significant city in Hemingway’s Spanish adventures. He frequented the literary and social scenes of the Spanish capital, immersing himself in the vibrant culture of cafes, bullfights, and flamenco music. Hemingway’s time in Madrid influenced his writing and deepened his connection to Spain.

In the picturesque town of Ronda, Hemingway found inspiration for his novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” The dramatic landscapes of Ronda, with its deep gorge and historic bullring, captivated Hemingway’s imagination and provided the backdrop for the intense story of love and war set during the Spanish Civil War.

Barcelona also played a role in Hemingway’s Spanish journey. He explored the vibrant streets of the city, soaking in the artistic and bohemian atmosphere that inspired many of his works. Hemingway’s experiences in Barcelona added another layer of richness to his portrayal of Spain in his writing.

Seville, with its romantic architecture and passionate flamenco performances, left a lasting impression on Hemingway. The city’s timeless beauty and cultural richness influenced his writing, especially in works like “Death in the Afternoon,” where he delved into the world of bullfighting and the essence of Spanish traditions.