Alcala is like a true magnet, for me. My heart is beating fast every time I think about this place and I have to visit it, once in Spain. The name of the city is directly connected with Cervantes, who’s Don Quijote de la Mancha is the second most translated in the world, after the bible
Declared World Heritage by UNESCO, in 1989, Alcala still preserves intact every piece of history and it’s like you can feel Cervantes presence with every step you take. And, as a major advantage, is located at only 30 km away from Madrid.
A true visit of the city soul begins with his house and the square with the same name as the authors. Also, you should not miss a tour of Cervantes University, that still delivers great results.
Road from the train station to the city
Once arrived in the train station make sure you stop by Laredo Palace, located very close by. Also, make sure you give every small place a chance, on your way to the city. I had a great surprise visiting the church Capilla de las Santas Formas; the interior was amazing and the surprise is bigger once you enter the chapel in the back.
Recharge and enjoy
Plaza de Cervantes offers you a great architecture and a lot of history so you can imagine Don Quijote near you. If in need for a coffee, Cafe Hemisferio is a great place to stop and still be in the magic.
Faith and religion in Alcala
Continue exploring Alcala by visiting the Magisterial Cathedral, the only one with late gothic style in Madrid area. You should also see Monjas Agustinas de Santa Maria Magdalena Monastery and continue until you arrive at Arizobispal Palace (Archiepiscopal Palace)
Since you are in Alcala and the writing vibe is on, I also recommend you visiting the great bookstore Notting Hill. Yes, the name is taken from the movie and the owner is a charming writer with a great life story. Once here, make sure you buy one or two books in order to ensure that this charming places stay the same; after all, this are the places that every reader dreams of.
A bit more to explore
Another architectural masterpiece of great historic value, is the Gate to Madrid ( Puerta de Madrid ). The edifice was restored in 1788, to replace the old medieval gate. A similar gate can be found in Madrid, under the name The Gate of Alcala and was restored 10 years earlier.
Last stop was in a great traditional place, for a true Spanish lunch. The place is called El Fogon de Amos and everything is well preserved and arranged so you can feel in the restaurants of some good old times. I recommend you trying the seafood or delicious ribs with fried potatoes( patatas frites if you want to be a little Spanish :))
I saved the surprise for last: a beautiful night scape from a place called Los Santos de las Humosa. 3 cities for one view