A train carrying bread and bringing painters, photographers, poets and intellectuals to Alcalá

The Museum of Alcalá expands the exhibition ‘Time of landscapes’ with the exhibition ‘The train of landscapes’, delving into the history at the turn of the nineteenth century to the twentieth century, a time that strongly marked the local identity as the ‘Alcalá of bakers’ and ‘Alcalá of painters’.

The exhibition ‘Time of landscapes. Painters of the School of Alcalá de Guadaíra, 1850- 1950’ is extended with the exhibition ‘The train of landscapes’: documents, plans, photographs and books that have as protagonist the well-known ‘Train of the bakers’ that since 1873 linked Alcalá with Seville, in a symbiosis of economy and tourism that enhanced the positioning of this town and its famous landscapes for the fine arts, photography, scientific study, and leisure.

El tren de los paisajes’ is the compilation of historical documents, centenary maps, books and photographs with which the City Council of Alcalá de Guadaíra shows part of this local heritage for the knowledge and enjoyment of the citizens. To achieve this objective, three municipal departments have collaborated: the Museum, the Archive and the Library Services, together with the family of the late ecologist and writer, Antonio Gavira Albarrán, whose research for his book ‘El tren de los panaderos. An approach to the history of the railroad from Seville to Alcalá and Carmona’ have served as the basis and guide for the exhibition.

To all of them thanked for their efforts and collaboration the delegate of Heritage, Tourism and Museums, Christopher Rivas, accompanied by the head of environment and Natural Monument, Luisa Campos, on Tuesday at the opening of the exhibition where he stressed “the importance of the train for the identity of the city in just a hundred years in which it was operating. It connected us with the other municipalities of the Los Alcores region with whom we share so much, and was a strong impetus for the development not only of the economy of the area through the transport of goods, in which bread was the star product and hence the nickname of the ‘Alcalá of the bakers’, but also by the movement of people. They came attracted by the landscapes of Alcalá and its rich historical and natural heritage, some for leisure and others for different reasons: they were writers, photographers, intellectuals and painters”.

“In fact -continues the delegate-, one of the best known signs of identity of the city is the reflection of its landscapes from the perspective of famous artists, the “Escuela Paisajística Alcalareña”, and surely without the train it would not have been so easy and prolific that arrival and we would not have such an amount of works of art on the landscapes of Alcalá. Hopefully the next train will also serve to attract tourists to enjoy our extensive heritage,” said Rivas.

In various showcases on the ground floor, in rooms II, III and IV, next to the landscapes of Emilio Sánchez Perrier, José Pinelo Llul, or Nicolás Alpériz, among others, we can find from plans and historical documents that have to do with the implementation of the project, such as land transfers and layout, to historical, social and cultural events linked to the train, such as its passage over the bridge next to Jesús Nazareno at the beginning of the century, the derailment of 1906 or the bakers’ strike of 1935.

In addition, there is a small bibliography with the train as a protagonist, from Antonio Gavira’s own book, to local publications (magazines of the Fair, editions of congresses or conferences, etc.), the book of photographs by Enrique Rodríguez Ojeda, or the informative descriptions by Curro García Rivero, without missing the presence of the train in poetry in the poetry book ‘Pleamor’ by José María Rubio, or in children’s stories, such as the book ‘La historia de un viejo tren’ by the writer Antonio Rodríguez Almodóvar from Alcalá. These are books and publications that are available to the public in the library.

The interesting exhibition, open until April 7, paradoxically unites the sign of modernity of the train, with the search for quiet and beautiful nature to inspire the fine arts; industry and places that remain an offer that Alcalá is proud of.