Alcalá de Henares, a day filled with culture, education and good wine.
In this part two of two we visit the lesser known but amazing Spanish city of Alcalá de Henares. View some key highlights of my recent trip through this pictorial journey. In Part one we traveled to Madrid: Join A N.Y. Latina of Colombian Heritage To Spain to Explore Latin Links
Many of you have heard of other Spaniard cities, such as Barcelona or Seville. But Spain is more that the major cities, as a country rich in history it is difficult to ignore its smaller cities, such as Alcala de Henares.
Alcala de Henares is located at only 35klm Northeast of Madrid, it is one of UNESCO’s World heritage Sites.
Easily accessible from Madrid via metro or bus, the trip is roughly thirty minutes away. Alcala (as it is commonly called) is home today to almost two hundred thousand people who enjoy the rich history the city has to offer, from literature, education, religion, architecture and who could leave out food.
Universidad de Alcala
The university’s history can be traced back to 1293 when the first classes were given.
It was only until 1459 that permission was granted from the king of the time to Cardinal Cisneros, to establish officially as university studies. One of the oldest universities in all of Spain it is a sight not to be missed.
Rich in architecture, the university still hosts classes in the original building that stands since its inception.
Since its inception, the university is host to the “Cervantes Prize” presented annually by the King and Queen of Spain, it is the highest literature award given in the country. In 1998 the UNESCO named it world heritage site; the building is not one to be missed while in Alcala de Henares.
Video of The Plaza of Universidad de Alcala
House of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Museum
In 1954 the city of Alcala de Henares purchased the home where renowned writer of Spanish literature, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) grew up in.
The home is magnificent, not in luxury instead you can feel and perceive the rich history behind its walls. How people in the era lived, what sparked their everyday interests.
This is a two-story home, located in the city center.
It is free of charge and guides are readily available to explain every corner and detail of the home. Once in Alcala you will see that the house cannot be missed, as outside stands a life size bronze of “Don Quixote” with his ever-faithful companion “Sancho Penza”, both characters created by Cervantes in his historic novel of Don Quixote which has been translated in to 140 languages.
Cervantes is widely regarded as the greatest author of Spanish literature.
Plaza de Cervantes
Plaza de Cervantes is the main park in the historic city center of Alcala de Henares, which is dedicated to Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes.
It is one of the most important sites to visit while at Alcala, along with Calle mayor. Both Calle Mayor and La Plaza de Cervantes are closed to transit, making it a lovely and lively location to stroll through its medieval buildings, small unique shops, cafes and restaurants.
La Plaza is lined with beautiful trees that once have reached full bloom, make for the perfect scenery.
Next: The Wine and Tapas