Alcalà de Henares, with a touch of Cervantes!

So coming back to whimsical historical and architecturally stunning Alcalà de Henares and to add with a touch of Cervantes (Don Quijote). I am updating this one in my black and white series as plenty in my blog on the story and pictures. Hope you enjoy it as I do.

Here I continue with my journey thru the Castillas’s of Spain, that is Madrid, and Castilla La Mancha. We have come back to the city of Alcalà de Henares by unanimous decision!!!  This is the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra the author/writer of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza fame, the omnipresent Spanish literaly star.

It is a sprawling lovely town with an inner Calle Mayor that looks from another world, all around it and on Plaza Cervantes are building of great historical and educational value. Also, Calle Libreros and Calle Colegios. Many of the colleges of the University Complutense  of Alcala de Henares, founded in 1499.

It is about 32 km from Madrid , however, we came from Cuenca by car along the A40 then A3 and then the A2 direction Zaragoza and then Barcelona but you will find the panel for Alcalà de Henares off exit 28. We went straight to our favorite parking and newest in town as we did last year when we were here at the underground parking San Lucas off Via Complutense street.

From we set out to see the city on foot. This time we saw briefly what we have seen and like last year and went around to see more, there is a lot to see in Alcalà de Henares if you are into architecture, history, and education, this is it. I have pictures elsewhere on individual posts in my blog.

Right off the parking you have the Capilla de las Santas Formas a bit Chapel rising over the above ground of the parking San Lucas. We walked to the Plaza Cervantes ,here you see the city hall, Centro Interprétacion de Cervantes (all on the history of the writer of Don Quijote), and the wonderful Torre Santa Maria tower.

We saw in no alphabetical order, the Antiguo Colegio Convento de los  Trinitarios Descalzos, Antiguo Hospital de la Misericordia Antezana, Iglesia Santa Maria la Mayor at Via Complutence. The Colegio Convento de San Agustin, Colegio del Rey , Convento Monasterio Agustinas de Santa Maria Magdalena, Convento San Juan de la Penitencia.

We went on to Ermita de los Doctrinos, Ermita de Santa Lucia, Monasterio Museo de San Bernardo, the must Casa Museo de Cervantes (where he lived and was born) , and the Oratorio de San Felipe Neri.

We went to the Palacio Arzobispal or archbishop palace , where nearby is a statue of Queen Isabel I, the Catholic (who gave ok to Columbus to set sail for a new world to Europeans). Go all the way back to the Puerta de Madrid gate, and the walled city premises dating from the 13 to 17C!  The Colegio Convent Caracciolos(17C).  Go on to the Colegio Convento de Minimos de Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, Colegio Convento de San Basilio Magna, Colegio de Malaga , Colegio de Teologos Madre de Dios, and the Colegio de San Jeronimo o Trilingue .

As you can see this is not a all list and already plenty, many beautiful buildings here.  Too many to mention the links but easily found in internet.  We came back for our lunch stop in La Gitana Loca, the beer glass or caña price is 70 cents euro! with tapas from 1 and 2 euros you have a batchful here for almost nothing.It is next to the Cathedral too! Their webpage is not working for this location cannot confirm if still open, verify! sad if indeed closed, it shows they have other location like in Aluche district of Madrid city. We, also, did some serious shoes shopping while walking Calle Libreros at no 28, at Los Kosakos, great bargain for men and women shoes! Their Facebook page is outdated so maybe closed could not confirm, verify. Sadly these establishement with great memories seen to be closed already..maybe the virus.

The city is split into five districts but hardly noticeable to the visitor. These are Centro (the best part), Reyes Catholics, Chorillo-Gareno, Ensanche-Espartales, and El Val. The Romans called it Complutum and the Arabs/Moors Al-Qala (the Fort). It becomes Christian in 1118 by been taken by the bishop of Toledo, and in 1687 given the title of City by king Carlos II. In 1785 Maria Isidra de Guzman y de la Cerda enterst he University and is the first women to obtain a doctorate in arts and letters.  During the Spanish Civil War the town is with the Republicans. In 1991, the episcopal seat is again set in the city and Complutense diocesis. The Gothic Church Magistral is raised to Cathedral Magistral of Santo Justo y Santo Pastor (the boys).

And of course, the Cathedral of the young boys Saints. Justo and Pastor. It is dedicated to Maria Magdalene and it is Magistral since all its priests are doctors in Theology only one of two which is Magistral. It was built in 1514 in a isabeline gothic style. The story goes that in Roman Hispania there was a period of great persecution of Christians under the government of emperor Diocleciano (284-305AD) ; during this period happened the martyrdom of the Saints Justo and Pastor, boys of 7 and 9 years old executed in 304AD outside of Complutum for their refusal to refuse Christianism.

Outside the  Cathedral is simple and austere, while inside it is divided into three naves call Centro, Evangelio , and Epistola. In the Centro nave you will find the urn of silver and gold in a crypt where the remains of the boys Saints are kept and a stone where they were martyred. These relics were transferred to Huesca and then France during the Arab/Moors invasion.

The Madrid tourist office on Alcalà de Henares:

The tourist office of Alcalà de Henares in English:

The city of Alcalà de Henares tourist things to see in Spanish:

Alcalà de Henares is truly a city to come back again, lots to see and document here, we like it, it is on our world map. Hope you enjoy the tour.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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