This itinerary covers places in Alcalá de Henares related to the life and work of Miguel de Cervantes, the house where he was born in 1547, today converted into the Miguel de Cervantes Birthplace Museum, the church where he was baptized on October 9, 1547

This tour will take you to several places in Alcala de Henares related to the life and work of Miguel de Cervantes , the house where he was born in 1547, now a museum (Museo Casa Natal Miguel de Cervantes), the church where he was baptized on October 9th 1547. Sites related with his family and those associated with the publishing of his works. A route that takes us to the heart of the Golden Age of the spanish literature.

Duration

5 hours

Language

EN, ES

Rewiews

5 / 5 - 61 reviews

Included

Guided walking tour of 1,5 – 2 hour in Alcala de Henares with Official bilingual guide
Entrances to monuments in the itinerary
Trip by luxury bus with air conditioned and Wifi.

Excluded

Anything not specified in the itinerary

What do I need to bring?

  • Comfortable shoes

Please note

Infant seats available
Public transportation nearby
Stroller or pram accessible
Wheelchair accessible

  • Infants must not sit on laps
  • Not suitable for pets
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • May be operated by a multi-lingual guide
  • The use of facemasks during the tour is mandatory. Should you forget, we offer the possibility of adquiring one at the price of 1€
  • • Dress code is smart casual
    • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended

Cancellation Policy

Free! Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the activity starts. If you cancel under this time or do not show up, you will not be refunded.

When to book?

2h before the start of the activity

Cervantes Square

Discover this space, known in the Renaissance as Plaza del Mercado, it was a nerve center of city life since the weekly market took place here, as well as important celebrations such as the annual fair granted by King Alfonso VIII of Castile in 1184, including bullfights. Know its history to this day.

Today some of the buildings that surround it go practically unnoticed, making it a special place. In the center of the square there is a statue dedicated to Cervantes and at the southern end a bandstand, built at the end of the 19th century by the Lebrero foundry. Also at the southern end of the square, the tower of the old church of Santa María la Mayor from where you can enjoy a good panoramic view of Alcalá de Henares and also observe the baptismal font of Cervantes. On the east side of the square, you will see the headquarters of the Circle of Taxpayers, created in 1893 as a meeting place for the local bourgeoisie. Finally, no less bolt, on the west side two institutions that have marked the history and culture of the municipality: The Town Hall and the Corral de Comedias, whose visit we recommend.

Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso

The set of the Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso and the Rectorate of the University of Alcalá is constituted as the center of the university structure designed by Cardinal Cisneros from 1499. Its façade was built from 1537 by Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón, architect of the Cathedrals of Salamanca and Segovia, it was finished off in 1553 as Pedro de la Cotera’s surveyor. The most qualified carvers of the time worked on its elegant decoration and the masters of the Toledo Cathedral Francisco de Villalpando and Ruiz Díaz del Corral forged its admirable bars. It conserves the Patio of Santo Tomás de Villanueva, that of the Philosophers and the Trilingual. The Paraninfo and the University Chapel are the only two buildings of the Colegio Mayor built in the time of its founder. The Paraninfo or Scholastic Theater, located in the western bay of the Trilingual Courtyard, was the place for the imposition of degrees and where the solemn academic acts took place. The Chapel of San Ildefonso is one of the most significant examples of the so-called ‘Cisneros style’. The plasterwork of its walls, where Gothic, Mudejar and Renaissance ornamental motifs are harmoniously mixed, and its coffered ceilings, with polychrome lace decoration, give the whole a great sumptuousness and make this building one of the most beautiful examples of our first Renaissance.

Main Street

During the Middle Ages it was the axis of the Jewish quarter of Alcalá. At that time it had a very different appearance from today, instead of stone columns it had wooden uprights in the two floors. First, Archbishop Tenorio and, later, Carrillo and Cisneros were replacing the old wooden beams with stone columns that, in turn, for the most part, were replaced by pillars in the 19th century. There are still columns primitive, and in some of them you can see remains of the red and blue colors with which the entire street was polychrome during the great celebrations of the Golden Age.

On the tour you will visit the Cervantes Birthplace Museum, and the Antezana Hospital and the large number of restaurants in the city

Plaza de los Santos Niños

At the end of the 19th century, the Plaza de los Santos Niños was created, as we know it today, in honor of the martyrs Justo and Pastor. The tomb of the Saints was found by the Bishop of Toledo, San Asturio Serrano, and that started the development of an important cult, which spread throughout Spain, even reaching France.

In 1195 the town of Alcalá was devastated by the Almoravids of Al Mansur. A few years later, in 1209, the seat of the diocese of Toledo, which included Alcalá de Henares, is occupied by Archbishop Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada who is in charge of starting the construction of the Archbishop’s Palace that same year.

Precisely since the 12th century, the town of Alcalá de Henares has been transformed until it develops, radially, starting from the central axis of the Magistral Cathedral with streets that reach the gates of the wall.

In the Plaza de los Santos Niños, or rather in the surroundings of the Magistral Cathedral, the Christian quarter of Alcalá began in honor of the burial and the chapel built for the Child Martyrs.

Over the centuries, the houses that occupied the square adjacent to the cathedral have fallen (see image below), but it is at the end of the 19th century when the demolition of a good number of buildings that formed a large block that occupied two thirds parts of it.

This work joined the spaces of the old squares of La Picota and San Justo, as well as the streets of Los Bodegones and Cristo de la Cadena.

The Plaza and the Cathedral had a great restoration in the first third of the 20th century. The Church suffered a fire and subsequent looting during the Spanish Civil War, so it had to be restored again after the war.

Magistral Cathedral of Alcala de Henares

The primitive church was rebuilt by Don Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada, who promoted the construction of the Cathedral of Toledo, already in the 13th century. In 1477, Archbishop Carrillo, asked Pope Sixtus IV to receive the title of collegiate church, that is, the same honors as a cathedral, even if he did not have a bishop. And on March 10, 1519, Leo X signs the papal Bull in which he says that the Collegiate Church of the Santos Niños Justo y Pastor de Alcalá de Henares acquires the rank of Magistral.

However, the temple that you can see now is not that, as it was demolished to build the current one, by order of Cardinal Cisneros, for whom Alcalá was his great vital project, by promoting the University, and also this church. In 1497 he commissioned the work to the architects Antón and Enrique Egas, accompanied by the Alcalaíno Pedro Gumiel – faithful servant of the cardinal who has a street with his name next to the University -, as master builder.

The style of the church has important late Gothic elements, which make it the only Gothic cathedral in the Community of Madrid.

His title of Magistral is only shared with another cathedral in all of Europe, that of Saint Peter, in Louvain (Belgium). This title means that all the priests of the council had to be magistri, doctors in Theology from the University founded by Cisneros.

Cervantes Birthplace Museum

The Cervantes Birthplace Museum is located in the building where the writer was born. It recreates different rooms of a house from the 16th and 17th centuries, through an atmosphere that seeks to allow the visitor to enter the rooms perceiving the presence of their dwellers in the development of daily life. The museum also dedicates two of its rooms to the exhibition of its bibliographic collection, which has some of the most important editions of Cervantes’s work, bibliographical curiosities and oddities.

Calle de Carretas, 3

3 Calle de Carretas

M Madrid

Free cancellation

You'll receive a full refund if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance of most experiences