Alcalá de Henares is the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, creator of Don Quixote of la Mancha. Its university and its historic quarter have been awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO.
The heart of the historical centre of Alcalá de Henares is the street known as the Calle Mayor. This is the location of Cervantes’ Birth House, which has been converted into a museum that recreates the atmosphere of a home in the 16th and 17th centuries. However one building particularly stands out in the city, and that is the University. It was founded by Cardinal Cisneros, and some of the greatest men of Spanish letters, such as Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca and Quevedo, have studied within its walls. A walk around the centre will reveal a variety of palaces and mansions, churches, gardens and convents. Among them are buildings such as the Archiepiscopal Palace, the cathedral, the chapel of ElOidor, the Carmelite Convent, the Casa de la Entrevista house, the Town Hall and the Cervantes Theatre.