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In July 1910, Francisco Giner de los Ríos, founder of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza, asked Alberto Jiménez Fraud, one of his most advanced disciples, to leave his birthplace Málaga and to join him in Madrid with the purpose of becoming the director of the Residencia de Estudiantes. In previous years Jiménez Fraud had travelled in two occasions to Great Britain to study the education methods at British schools. During the first term at the Residencia (1910-1911) there were only 15 pupils staying in a small, comfortable but not exclusive hotel, placed in calle Fotuny.

Amongst these first resident students were Jorge Guillén, the psychiatrist Miguel Prados, elder brother of the poet Emilio Prados, Manuel Prieto, that would later become ministrer in the second republic, and the cardiologist Luis Calandre. During the years that followed, the facilities grew up to four hotels until in 1915 the Residencia moved to the pavilions of the "Hipodrome heights", close to the Museum of Natural Science and the Paseo de la Castellana.


José Moreno Villa, Vista de la Residencia de Estudiantes, 1926
 
Alberto Jiménez Fraud
The first laboratories that were located in the hotels at calle Fortuny were for Microscopic Anatomy and General Chemistry. Juan Ramón Jiménez, editor of the Resdencia's first publication, and the pedagogist Ángel Llorca, lived with the students. Azorín, Ramón Menéndez Pidal, Ortega y Gasset, Unamuno, Valle-Inclán and Eugenio D'Ors were regular lecturers and visitors to the Residencia.

At the Colina de los Chopos (the previously mentioned "Hipodrome heights"), name that Juan Ramón Jiménez gave to the Residencia and sorrounding gardens, new labs were created for General Physiology -directed by Juan Negrín- with students like Severo Ochoa and Francisco Grande Covián. Other labs were for Anatomy of Nervous Centres, Histology, Pathology, Serology and Bacteriology.
 

The year 1916 is the beginning of the music concerts at the Residencia. Until 1936 world famous musicians as Andrés Segovia, Manuel de Falla, Maurice Ravel and Francisc Poulenc came to the Residencia. The musical events were the beginning to the Group of eight to which the Halffter brothers and Gustavo Pittaluga belonged.

The Hispanic-English committee was founded in 1923 with the purpose of improving the intellectual relationships between both countries. In the following year the Society for Courses and Conferences was created. The activities of these organisations made possible the presence at the Residencia of prestigious lecturers as the archaeologist Howard Carter, the economist John Keynes, scientists like Marie Curie and Albert Einstein, poets like Paul Valéry, Paul Claudel, Louis Aragón or the architect Le Corbusier.

Federico García Lorca becomes a resident student in 1916 when he arrives in Madrid to study law, Luis Buñuel follows in 1917 and Salvador Dalí arrives in 1921. Their outstanding personalities as well as the ones of others like Emilio Prados, Benjamín Palencia or José Moreno Villa made the Residencia a place with a unique cultural life and studying atmosphere.

Dalí, Moreno Villa, Buñuel, Lorca y Rubio Sacristán en el Parque de la Bombilla (Madrid) 1926

Edad de Plata

 

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