Geographical magazines and popular geographies: the case of the Revista Geográfica Española, 1938-1977 Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2013

start page

  • 85

end page

  • 98


  • 39

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0305-7488

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-8614


  • The history of geographical and travel journalism and, more widely, the history of 'popular geographies', have traditionally been neglected in the historiography of geography. This paper examines a magazine, the Revista Geográfica Española (1938-1977), closely connected to Franco's Spain. Originating far from the academic field as an art, history and travel magazine, its target was the cultivated reader; its intention, to become a Spanish version of National Geographic Magazine. In this paper we will discuss the importance of geographical journalism and popular geographies for the history of geography and will analyse the most relevant milestones in the life of Valeriano Salas-Rodríguez, the founder of the Revista Geográfica Española and its director until 1962. The paper considers the origin, goals and features of the magazine, as well as the image of Spain conveyed through its pages. The analysis will focus in two main aspects: on the one hand, the connection of the magazine with geographical imaginations which dominated Franco's Spain, linked to questions of national identity and landscape; on the other hand, the bonds that Salas and the magazine itself had with a number of policies and initiatives fostered by Franco's administration in the field of tourism and national heritage.


  • popular geographies; geographical magazines; travel journalism; spain; francoism; valeriano salas-rodríguez; revista geográfica española