By Andrea Comas
After 124 years Madrid’s historic Café Gijón is facing uncertainty. The lease on the establishment’s popular terrace has expired and Madrid’s City Hall has put it on offer to the highest bidder. It just may be another sad story of how the crisis is ravaging Spain.
The Café Gijón opened in 1888 and soon became an important meeting place for intellectuals of the time, like Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Ramon Valle-Inclan, Pio Baroja. Later Nobel laureate Camilo Jose Cela became a regular and his book “The Hive” was inspired by the café. Throughout its history, the “tertulias” or, gatherings of leading artistic, cultural and political people, have never ceased. Currently the café is frequented by contemporary writers such as Francisco Umbral and Arturo Perez-Reverte among others.