Unamuno and Fuerteventura: A close relationship
March 2024 is the reference date we take today to celebrate the first centenary of the arrival of the famous writer Miguel de Unamuno to Fuerteventura. Unamuno received the news of exile on February 20, 1924 and in March he arrived on the island punished by the regime of Primo de Rivera. However, Fuerteventura was not for him the harsh prison that the dictatorial regime intended, on the contrary, was welcomed by its inhabitants with admiration.
Upon his arrival on the island established his residence in Puerto de Cabras, now Puerto del Rosario, specifically in the former Hotel Fuerteventura and current headquarters of the Casa Museo, which today bears his name. Initially he found a “sad and desolate landscape” but soon makes good friends among the few intellectuals who lived in the capital. One of them, Ramón Castañeyra, welcomed him and put at his disposal his rich and nourished library where the writer, according to his words, reread Galdós and learned to know him. There he will also consult the science books that will allow him to interpret the Majorero landscape like few others.
The development of his life in Puerto de Cabras – today Puerto del Rosario – was full of gatherings, walks, sunbathing, long excursions, naps and good meals, which helped him to find a haven of peace during his four months of confinement. His talks with the parish priest Víctor San Martín inspired him to create the character San Manuel Bueno, martyr.
Undoubtedly the island left its mark on Miguel de Unamuno palpable in two of his most important literary works: “From Fuerteventura to Paris and “Around the style”, being one of the first intellectuals who knew how to see, in the aridity of its landscape, the beauty of the island and find in it a haven of peace.
But this effect is reciprocal, because Unamuno also left a deep mark on the island, making it known and placing it in one of the highest cultural places of the Spanish geography and linking his place of residence with its capital, Puerto del Rosario.