Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia are scheduled to visit San Antonio next week, June 16-18, as part of the city’s yearlong Tricentennial celebration, City officials announced Thursday.
“We welcome Their Majesties to visit San Antonio during our Tricentennial year to collaborate and build a stronger foundation now and in the future,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “The everlasting impact of Spain’s culture is woven into the fabric of San Antonio’s legacy for generations to come.”
The Spanish monarch and his queen will commemorate the city’s Spanish roots and inaugurate two major art exhibitions during their time here: Designing America: Spain’s Imprint in the U.S. and Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid, scheduled to open June 23 at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Designing America: Spain’s Imprint in the U.S. shows historic documents and the combined narration of texts, images, and audio-visual elements to display contributions Spain made to the construction to the city. The exhibition organized by Fundación Consejo España-Estados Unidos in partnership with Biblioteca Nacional de España (National Library of Spain) will be shown in the Bexar County Courthouse.
Paintings in Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid are by El Greco, Velazquez, Goya, Picasso, and others, many of which have never been shown in the US before.
The two will tour sites that represent the deep Spanish influence in the city, including the Spanish Governor’s Palace and the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Mission San José.
“As we welcome Their Majesties, the King and Queen of Spain, to the community, we are reminded of the unique, shared history that San Antonio and Bexar County have with Spain,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said in a press release. “From our urban layout to our architecture and cuisine, we can see Spanish influences in our daily lives. We are honored to celebrate our Tricentennial year with them and continue to collaborate to provide prosperity for all.”
An official dinner will feature local chefs Johnny Hernandez, Elizabeth Johnson, and Steve McHugh. The dinner, showcasing San Antonio’s UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy Designation, will be hosted in the historic Pearl brewery.
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The two-day visit will also include opportunities for economic development discussions and a special Young Hispanic Leaders Summit, organized by the Fundación Carolina of Spain, in collaboration with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The couple will begin their trip to the United States with a two-day visit to New Orleans, then travel to San Antonio, and conclude with a reception by President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., according to international media outlets.