town of Albacete lies in the depth of the Iberian Peninsula, and it is possible to reach it in a couple of hours if to leave by train Valencia. The station of Albacete not the largest in Spain, and the traveler who is not knowing about this city can pass easily by though the city, undoubtedly, deserves visit. Business all that, besides existence of interesting places and sights, throughout centuries it was the center of production of knives and from here they dispersed as across all Spain, and is far out of its limits. This craft and remained today, and owners of numerous workshops and shops are glad to each visitor.
Practically everything is connected with knives in Albacete. Already in the building of the station you are met by sculptural compositions in which forms of traditional Spanish knives are looked through. In the city there is a monument to the street dealer in knives – in a hat, with a tray through a shoulder, he offers the goods to passersby. Hundreds of same dealers wandered once not only about streets of Albacete, but also about all cities of Spain.
It is similar to other Spanish cities and settlements, Albacete kept in itself the memory of presence of Arabs some time here ago. It is known that at a turn of the millennia a considerable part of the Iberian Peninsula was won by the Arabs giving own names to settlements. So, the Al — prefix in the name of the city comes from Arabic. However business is also limited to it – for the rest, Albacete is the typical Spanish city. The cathedral, the arena for a bullfight, the building of a town hall.
However the difference of Albacete from other settlements of the similar size consists many knife shops. At the same time, here it is possible to meet as cheap products cost in several euro, and original works of knife art which cost is estimated in hundreds of European currency units. Various grades became, the engraving, stamping, incrustation by a bone and semi-precious stones – traditions of craft safely remained up to now.
If you appeared in Albacete, it is impossible to pass by the museum of knives. He settles down in the certain building near cathedral and the main square of the city and to recognize it rather simply by characteristic signs with images of blades. The entrance for visitors absolutely free, also depresses one – photographing is categorically forbidden inside. And it, really, upsets, it is possible to shoot considerable quantity of exhibits here!
The traditional Spanish knife is called as navakhy. On the device it odnolezviyny and folding – at the same time, different copies can have the locks for fixing of a blade manufactured on different technologies. Many navakh at disclosure publish a characteristic crash or click that is regarded as advantage. Handles of knives mean laid on installation, and bars can be turned from a tree of different breeds, from a cow horn, or from slozhnosostavny materials. Blades can have various form – from predatory and narrow, to quite good-natured big-bellied.
Once the Navajo was a full-fledged fighting blade, and its origin is connected with the historical ban for not - noblemen on carrying weapon. So, the peasant or the handicraftsman could not carry freely a dagger and furthermore a rapier or a sword. However nevertheless there was a need something to be protected from malefactors or to prove the case in the heat of street disputes – so was born the Navajo, legally not being weapon.
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Nevertheless, historical samples nava can be simply huge – in the spread-out look they exceed length of a hand of the adult man. Similar exhibits are hanged by "fans" in the museum, and rivet attention gloss of cold steel. Are available here and the engravings which imprinted duels on similar navakha – rivals held them as small halberds. The amusing moment consists in that, as similar monsters were not considered as full-fledged weapon though any of such copies easily can deprive of the person of an extremity.
However over time street duels were a thing of the past, and navakh began the most part to be applied in life. Their sizes decreased, blades became less long and wide – the classical Spanish pocket knife so appeared. Production nava turned into the independent direction of national craft, and they were quite often decorated with incrustation, gilding, applied expensive materials. In each part of Spain there were versions, and examples of each of them are also collected in the museum.
There is also a hall devoted to process of production of knives here. In it machines are exposed and sharpened on which handicraftsmen created navakh. Summaries near each exhibit in brief explain the principle of operation of any given device. It is possible to see preparations of blades and handles, the semi-finished products and already ready knives expecting sharpening.
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It is difficult to tell at first sight how many thousands of knives are collected in this museum. There are old samples and modern products. Huge folding navakh and modest pocket knives. Simple copies with wooden handles and original jewelry. Having visited the museum, it is possible to take out many data on the Spanish knives. In the museum, tours during which guides explain to visitors those nuances which can be not listed on accompanying inscriptions are conducted. Certainly, it would be very useful to register in such excursion.
Perhaps, you will want to get something for memory. For this purpose in the hall of the museum there is a pavilion where cards, literature, catalogs the Spanish nava are on sale. Various souvenir attributes with the inscriptions "Albacete" and with images of knives are also presented here. Well and, of course, here it is possible to buy the real Spanish knife removed in the wooden case upholstered with a velvet and with memorable etching on a blade. However, prepare that cost will be considerable – it is not the Chinese fake, but original the Navajo from Albacete which glory once rattled across all Mediterranean.