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Cervantes in Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá and Cervantes, Cervantes and Alcalá. They seem to be inseparable in the life and livelihood of the city. Miguel de Cervantes,  literary figure and world renowned author, presides over many of the events and celebrations that occur in Alcalá de Henares. A statue of the author can be found in the center of the main plaza of the city in which he was born. The area, which holds his name, Plaza de Cervantes, is the true social center of the city.  

Cervantes is an interesting historical figure. He is both a man of letters and of arms. As customary in the era, he fought with the Spanish Armada, and had lost his left arm in the Battle of Lepanto. But for what he is most acclaimed worldwide is his invention of the literary genre: the novel. He wrote Don Quijote de la Mancha, a work translated into many different languages and well know throughout the world.

There are many festivals and events celebrated in the city which carry the mark of this ingenious author. One of the most important is the presentation of the Cervantes Award for Literature by the King of Spain at the University of Alcalá de Henares. It is one of the most prestigious awards for literature written in the Spanish language. This award is given every year on April 23rd coinciding with the death of this famous writer. There are many surrounding events including a book fair.   

In Fall Alcalá de Henares celebrates the Semana Cervantina, commemorating the baptism of Miguel de Cervantes. The city is transformed during this week long celebration to resemble 17th century marketplace with street theater, music,  expositions and cultural acts.

On weekends, from April to June and September to December, you can enjoy a trip on the "Cervantes Train". This special train transports tourists from Madrid to Alcaláso they can visit the most beautiful and representative places in this city. The train leaves from Atocha train station inviting you on a trip full of surprises. As you board the train people dressed in period clothes great you in true Golden Age formality. During the trip they provide delicious and typical foods. During the visit to the historical center of Alcalá actors represent small theatrical pieces based on literature masterpieces of the 17th century.  

And if you are interested in knowing more about this author and the place he was born, you can visit the Cervantes Home and Museum. Here you can learn about life in the times of Cervantes and more about the author and his works.  There are two distinct areas of the museum. One part is the recreation of a typical home of the 16th and 17th century with typical furniture and rooms, giving a true picture of daily life of that time period. The second area of the museum is an exposition of the author's various works, in different languages, and illustrated by different artists, with editions from the 17th century tot he present. Of great importance is the first edition of "El Quijote" from 1605; the second edition of "El Quijote" in English from 1912, and also an edition with lithographic images by Salvador Dalí.

Precisely because it is the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, it was chosen in 1991 to be the home of the Cervantes Institute. This important institution is a public organization for teaching and promotion of the Spanish language and culture in the world. The organization has over 30 centers throughout the world dedicated to the teaching of Spanish, but still maintains it's first center in the "Colegio del Rey" building in the center of Alcalá de Henares.

Escuela Internacional Central Registration Office
C/ Talamanca, 10, 28807 Alcala de Henares (Madrid), Spain
Telephone: +34 91 883 12 64, Fax: +34 91 883 13 01
e-mail: info@escuelai.com

Cities in Spain
Salamanca - a walk
Shopping Salamanca
Nightlife - Malaga
Places to go - Alcalá
Excursion - Segovia
Excursion - Siguenza
Trip to Matavenero
Celebrations / Events
Semana Cervantina
Carnival in Spain
April Fair-Sevilla
San Isidro in Madrid
Fiesta del Pilar
Alcalá Film Festival
Christmas in Spain
Spanish Christmas carols
Picasso Museum
Flamenco in Malaga
Cervantes in Alcalá