Huesca temática

Number 121 - Juny of 2008Spanish language Principal menu

Lucas Mallada

Illustrate man from Huesca,
geologist, paleontologist and writer

      Lucas Mallada y Pueyo, was born in the city of Huesca on October 18, 1841 and died in Madrid on February 6, 1921. This Aragonese was a founding geologist of the Spanish Paleontology, who was belonging to the Spanish "Regeneracionismo".
      The house where he was born, is still in the street of San Orencio, very near to the Porches de Galicia and to the famous "Cuatro esquinas" (`4 corners'), in the so-called `tubo ' (a district where the bars abound) of Huesca. A conmemorative plaque, attached to the front gives faith of it. When he was seven years old moves with his family to Saragossa. There he finished the baccalaureate in 1859 with rather discreet qualifications. His father, Manuel Mallada Sarrate, who was an official of the County council, moved to Madrid to redeem the functions of teacher, beeing Lucas 19 years. Lucas begins the career of Engineering of Mines, finished in 1866 - beeing 25 years old- after repeating a course. He did the practices in Almadén, in the mines of mercury.
      In April, 1867 he goes to Oviedo, where will be two years teaching in the foremen's school of Langreo and inspecting the coal-bearing mines of there. Later, he obtained moved to Teruel (1870) when there was consolidated the Commission of the Geologic Map of Spain. Then he passes a year covering the saws of Teruel in search of new mines and evaluating the already open ones. In 1870 he is chosen to be a part of the commission in charge of the achievement of the Geologic Map of Spain, published in 1889. They touched him the provinces of Toledo, Cáceres, Cordoba, Huesca, Navarre, Jaén, Tarragona, León, Navarra, Palencia and its general supervision. This great work will make him travel throughout the country.
     In the year 1878 he will marry wirh Concepción Domingo y Roca, of which he will have two daughters. Between 1880 and 1890 he publishes big quantity of articles about scientific, economic, political and social topics and his ideas wake up the movement known as "Regeneracionismo". In 1880 he is nominated professor of paleontology in the School of Mines.
      In politically rough times (exile of Elizabeth II, reign of Amadeo de Saboya and restoration of the monarchy -Alfonso the XII th-), he covered the peninsula creating geologic maps and verifying the poverty of the villages. He published 8 volumes of `Geologic Memories' (5.654 pages) of the provinces of Cáceres, Huesca, Cordoba, Jaén, Navarre, Tarragona, León and Teruel. In 1875, he compiles information to make his public `Sinopsis of the fossil species that have been found inSpain'.

      The volumes of the Primary Age, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous are published between 1878 and 1887. Approximately 1.500 fossils are described and represent about 200 sheets, directed to the public in general, and in particular to the specialists, as the monumental `Catalog of the fossil espepecies found in Spain' with 4.058 different species, published in Madrid in 1892 (more than 50 species, were new).
     He put a special interest in the `Descripción physical and geologic of the Province of Huesca', written while he was a part of the Commission of the Geologic Map that, published in 1870, suffered interruptions: and was suspended in 1872 for lack of budget of the Treasure and then in 1875 for the Carlists wars. In 1877 it is continued, and sees the public light in 1878. For scientific merits, he joins the Academy of Sciences in 1897 and is proposed for minister and mayor of Madrid, but he pushes these honors back, although he believes suitably to inform to the king about his ideas in his famous 'Aragonese Letters devoted to your Majesty'.
      Last years of the XIXth century and first of the XXth century, until his death (almost eighty years old), took a life of work in the School of Mines frequenting the friendship of another engineer, Serafín Baroja (father of Pío Baroja). His articles in the newspaper `El Progreso' of 1875 was compiled in his book 'Los males de la Patria'' published in 1890; in this sense, it is necessary to consider him to be a precursor of Joaquín Costa.
      In 1903 his wife dies. By broken health, he retires in 1910; he dies on February 7, 1921 and is buried discreetly, like he had wished in his testament. He received the big crosses of Isabel la Católica and Alfonso XII.

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      Lucas Mallada was forgotten soon; a posthumous homage there was May 3, 1925 in Huesca organized by the City, the Academy of Sciences of Saragossa and the Corporations of the Geologic Institute. A simple monument, a headstone and a leaflet (of Ricardo del Arco) were a scarce testimony of theirs at these times.


 Manuel Tomé  Wikipedia * Wikipedia
* Manuel Tomé Bosqued

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