Invierno Winter 2018 |
OUR MIGHTY FORERUNNERS…
The first guidebooks of San Sebastian appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century.
hile tourism was virtually unknown in Spain at the turn of the 20th century, France, Switzerland, and Italy were already leading the tourist industry in Europe and were actively promoting their countries as choice travel destinations. San Sebastian’s proximity to France, natural beauty, and cosmopolitan population, aided undoubtedly by the campaign launched by a group of visionary entrepreneurs with connections in the town hall, Kursaal casino, and the bull ring, put San Sebastian firmly on the international map of luxury destinations during the Belle Époque. On January 10, 1903, Machimbarrena, the city mayor at the time, set up a commission specifically to advertise the city’s festivals and natural attractions. In 1927, a Tourist Centre and (Centro de Atracción y Turismo) forerunner of San Sebastian Tourism, was set up to lead and support the new tourism drive.
PENAGOS, LAGARDE AND VALVERDE One of the new centre’s first initiatives was to bring out a series of modern, beautifully edited guidebooks which were published in several languages and offered a sophisticated, cosmopolitan view of the region. Regular features included the royal family holidaying in the city, leisure activities, car-racing, rowing regattas, horse-racing, the beaches, bull-fights, tennis, and, of course, the highly popular pelota matches.
“French words such as sport and tennis (written with a double-n) were commonplace in these stylish guides, reflecting the influence of the European élite who summered in the nearby resort of Biarritz”, says the Koldo Mitxelena library director Susana Araiz. Painters and illustrators Lagarde, Valverde and Penagos were responsible for the illustrations which were very modern for the day. The covers, in particular, were highly stylized and influenced by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. The attractiveness of these publications waned, however, in the wake of the civil
war. They were no longer published in colour and the spelling of Basque names was changed to comply with the Spanish spelling system. Their overall appearance was far more austere. “The Caudillo’s stays in San Sebastian were featured, and both the Basque and foreign languages and the somewhat idyllic image of the ancient and traditional rural way of life were gradually dropped” adds Araiz. Gipuzkoa Tour Magazine, which you are currently reading, was first published in 1998 and continues to share the aim of promoting the city. With the Winter 2018 issue, we wanted to pay a tribute to our predecessors to whom we owe so much.
Marca Francesa de inspiración nautica CALLE URBIETA, 10 - 20.006 DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIÁN
LA REVISTA DE OCIO Y TURISMO QUE SE DISTRIBUYE EN LAS HABITACIONES DE LOS HOTELES DE 3, 4 Y 5 ESTRELLAS DE GIPUZKOA.