Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 8
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Go to Tatooine

That’s how I first heard the directions to my internship.  I’ve since learned that the name of the neighborhood is Tetuán, but I still think of the Star Wars planet every time I get off the Metro at the Tetuán station.

I love the Metro in Madrid.  The stations are sharp, the trains run every three to five minutes, and I pay 35 euro a month for unlimited travel.  There isn’t a day when I don’t hop on at least once.  For that reason, I became curious about the names of Metro stations I frequent in Madrid.  Where did they come from?

Tetuán, it turns out, is the name of a city in Morocco.  Soldiers returning from the Hispano-Moroccan War set up camp here in 1860.  The encampment that was supposed to last a few days never disbanded –– and its original name stuck.

I walk to two Metro stops from my apartment.  The first, Tirso de Molina, is named after a Spanish monk and author.  Molina created the first version of the tale of Don Juan, the nobleman and violator of women who is dragged straight to hell by a funerary statue come to life.

La Latina, the other station, has a name that goes back five hundred years.  Beatriz Galindo was a courtier and scholar famed for her poetry in Latin.  Her nickname, La Latina, was first applied to the hospital that she founded here in 1506 and later to the entire neighborhood.

Learning this about Madrid has made me realize that I know almost nothing about place names in my hometown.  The interesting stories behind names here surprised me –– it might be the same at home!

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