ANTONIO MACHADO HIGH SCHOOL
GERARDO DIEGO AND ANTONIO MACHADO, GALLERIES OF FAMOUS WRITERS
Its construction began in 1575 with stone from the demolition of the adjoining Romanesque church of San Miguel de Montenegro, under the patronage of the Jesuits. In 1740 a terrible fire destroyed the building almost completely but was rebuilt soon after. After the expulsion of the order in April 1767 decreed by Carlos III, the building became the headquarters of the Numantina Economic Society of Friends of the Country, which installed in the building a textile manufacturing factory. Later it would host the Chair of Grammar, the headquarters of the National Military and Hospital and troops during the War of Independence in 1808. After the war, it returned to be devoted to teaching, maintaining this use today.
It is a clear example of Jesuit, solid, simple architecture, conditioning the evangelical purpose, entirely in ashlar and without ornaments. These are concentrated in the main entrance, open on one side of the west facade and features a molded door lintel and topped by a triangular pediment. The shield of Carlos III with the Golden Fleece completes the pack. Inside, the cloister still remembers the distribution of a monastery and it is preserved, as it was then, the classroom where Machado used to teach, who came to Soria in 1907 at the age of 32 to occupy his chair in French.
The poet taught French to high school students who were between 13 and 15 years, so he left lot of academic documentation also currently kept at the center.
In honor of the poet, what was the General and Technical Institute was renamed Antonio Machado Institute in 1967.
Outside the building, next to the facade of the Institute, There are two sculptures, one in bronze lifesize representing the poet Antonio Machado sitting in an armchair on the day of his wedding, the work of Ricardo Gonzalez Gil (2010 ) and it is complemented by Leonor´s one, located in the Main Square.
A few meters away, at the entrance of the building, also in bronze, the bust on stone monolith by Pablo Serrano (1982) symbolizes the figure of the poet, in unnatural dimensions, with chiseled features and a serious face.
Until a few decades ago the school was the only center of the city and province so it was emblematic academic reference; this made to pass through its halls illustrious characters, besides the already named Antonio Machado, Gerardo Diego, Nicolas Rabal, Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño, José Tudela and Oreste Camarca, among others.