EN TORNO A 1870: LA REVOLUCIÓN LIBERAL Y SU INFLUJO EN
GRANADA Y EN LA ALHAMBRA
AROUND 1870: THE LIBERAL
REVOLUTION AND ITS INFLUENCE IN
GRANADA AND THE ALHAMBRA
MIGUEL LUIS LÓPEZ-GUADALUPE MUÑOZ
PROFESSOR OF MODERN HISTORY DEPARTMENT OF MODERN AND AMERICAN HISTORY UNIVERSITY OF GRANADA
mllopez@ugr.es
AbstrAct: political agitation was a dominant note in 19th century Spain. But the political changes hid a
very backward economic and social reality. The stage of the Sexenio Democrático was key in the desires of
modernization of the country, although with little results. In this context, Granada lived between exoticism
and immobility. Based on the historiography of Granada and the Alhambra in the 19th century, the image
of the city and the scope of its changes are drawn, which affected the urban planning very severely. In this
context, the Alhambra, exalted by romantic travelers, became a national monument in 1870. his fact did not
ensure its conservation or better management at that time. But it was the starting point to revalue and raise
awareness about this ancient Arab fortress.
Keywords: Alhambra, Granada, liberal revolution, 19th century, foreign travelers
resumen: la agitación política fue una nota dominante en la España del siglo XIX. Pero los cambios políti-
cos ocultaban una realidad económica y social muy atrasada. La época del Sexenio Democrático fue clave en
los deseos de modernización del país, aunque con resultados limitados. En este marco, Granada vivía entre
el exotismo y el inmovilismo. Sobre la historiografía de Granada y la Alhambra en el siglo XIX se dibuja
la imagen de la ciudad y el alcance de sus cambios, que afectaron muy severamente al urbanismo. En este
contexto la Alhambra, exaltada por los viajeros románticos, se convierte en monumento nacional en 1870.
Este hecho no aseguró por entonces su conservación ni una gestión mejor. Pero fue el punto de partida para
revalorizar y concienciar sobre esta antigua fortaleza árabe.
PAlAbrAs clAves: Alhambra, Granada, revolución liberal, siglo XIX, viajeros extranjeros
cómo citAr / how to cite: LÓPEZ GUADALUPE MUÑOZ, M.L. En torno a 1870: la revolución liberal y su
influjo en Granada y la Alhambra, Cuaderno de la Alhambra. 2020, 49, pp. 193-215. ISN 0590-1987
CUADERNOS DE LA ALHAMBRA I núm. 49 I 2020 I págs. 193-215
Recibido: 16 septiembre 2020 I Revisado: 30 septiembre 2020 I Aceptado: 15 octubre 2020 I Publicado: 24 diciembre 2020
ISSN: 0590 - 1987 I eISSN: 2695-379X I Depósito legal: GR 70-1965
The reign of Isabella II, whose ascension to the
throne was celebrated in Granada in the first days
of February 1834, caused great instability from the
start that translated into political uncertainty, largely
driven by military coups or pronunciamientos (upri-
sings). In fact, the regent’s reliance on the liberal
forces, who saw this moment as their great oppor-
tunity, was born out of the need to defeat Carlism,
which had no great impact in the south, suffering a
few set-backs, and also to hold back the Progressive
sector, which threatened an uprising in Granada in
July 1836. Any real consensus between the two libe-
ral branches, the Moderates and the Progressives,
was difficult so the agreement that inspired the 1837
Constitution proved to be ephemeral. María Cristina
had to cede the regency to Espartero in 1840. And
both the following Moderate constitution of 1845
and the Progressive constitution of 1856 (which ne-
ver came into force) were clearly partisan. Meanwhi-
le the «regime of the generals» with its legendary
«espadones» was being established in Spain; Mode-
rate leader Ramón Narváez from Loja was included
among their number. During the «moderate decade»
–the «government of the capable»– when Francisco
Javier Istúriz was president of the cabinet, Granada
celebrated the queen’s wedding to her cousin Don
Francisco de Asís in 1846. In terms of the consti-
tution, the 1869 constitution was more progressive
and advanced than that of 1837; it was the desired
result of the Revolución Gloriosa (Glorious Revolu-
tion) and its great eagerness for change. By way of
example, barely a month after the revolution trium-
phed Spain changed its currency and the peseta was
born, revealing itself when the country opened up
to international markets before the iron curtain of
protectionism (Il. 1).
19th century Granada: exoticism
and stagnation
The moderate decade can be said to have passed
peacefully for a Granada that watched with curiosity
as foreign intellectuals and artists visited more and
more frequently; these visitors appreciated a herita-
IL. 1. David Roberts. Charles V’s Palace with the Wine Gate. (1833).
Watercolour. APAG. Colección de Dibujos. D-0038.