The museum – palace of Alhama de Aragón and its corner for Manuel Ramírez

May 3, 2023

The museum - palace of Alhama de Aragón and its corner for Manuel Ramírez

Antonio and Jacinto Moros appeared in our guitar shop on 16 September 2020, just after that strange fragment of a year that kept us confined and in suspense. We had just reopened relatively recently and, just as I was about to close the shop, they came to the door.

Exhibition by Manuel Ramírez

I attended to them in the darkness of a room that was hoping to close until the following morning and I do not remember the words spoken under the masks, I can only remember in my head the moment when they spoke to me about my great-great-uncle Manuel Ramírez, about his birth in Alhama de Aragón, about the intention of the Town Hall of that place to make a permanent exhibition with its illustrious characters and that they would like us to contribute objects related to my ancestor.

At that time I could only offer them the 125th Anniversary book and the photographs, videos and writings that I was able to send by e-mail. I agreed to visit him in the future and the matter was left hanging in the air, bathed in the magical aura of everything that happened immediately after the confinement.

Visit to Alhama de Aragón

And looking for the air that would encourage me to return to the workshop after my maternity leave, we went on a weekend trip to the Monasterio de Piedra with the intention of visiting Alhama de Aragón.

On Thursday 23 March 2023, while we were travelling, I wrote to Antonio to ask him where the exhibition was, because we wanted to visit it the following day. With his characteristic kindness, he told me that it would open on 1 April, but that he would be delighted to show it to us in the afternoon of the following day.

We arrived early, early enough to stroll through the streets and, when we came to the museum-palace, we found a group of three people, in addition to Antonio: the deputy mayoress Pilar, Elena, who is in charge of the tourist office and the exhibition of José Luis Sampedro and her husband José Luis.

It was probably one of the most endearing visits I have ever made, as well as being the first trip my partner and I made together with the new member of the family. The illusion and care, poured into the words of each one of them and the work on the place, made it have a warm charm.

At the door we were welcomed by the light replicas of the cabezudos that the Moros brothers revived from the oblivion of old photographs, as the originals had been lost. Tiles typical of the palatial houses of Aragon surrounded us, as did the magnificent restoration work on the building.

Illustrious figures of Alhama de Aragón

On reaching the first floor we came across the space destined for the illustrious figures of Alhama de Aragón and there stood Manuel, with his intelligent and incisive gaze observing from another place, holding a text that spoke of his work, his works and his achievements.

Proudly he shows us the mention of the famous 1912 guitar he made for the guitarist Manjón, which ended up in the hands of the maestro Andrés Segovia to rest in the Metropolitan in New York.

I was pleased to find a place that proudly collected his trajectory, dusting it off from shadows, interests and time. It was nice to share it with my family and that, although Gonzalo José is only 4 months old, he was able to live that moment with me as a possible (if he likes) VI generation of guitar makers.

The museum - palace of Alhama de Aragón

To end the visit we were shown the space dedicated to José Luis Sampedro, illustrious visitor to this village and its spas, and who is proudly remembered with great affection. The new installation, in which water is the protagonist, has also been developed with exquisite taste.

It was there that we were surprised to see the old bridge designed and built by my great-great-grandfather Domingo. That was the reason why Manuel was born in Alhama de Aragón and lived there during his early years.

It is certainly a place to visit, both for the good work that you can see and enjoy there, and for the kind people who live in the place where Manuel Ramírez was born.

Cristina Ramírez Sanginés

29 March 2023


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