Alcalá de Henares, World Heritage Site
In December 1998, UNESCO recognised the University of Alcalá and the historic centre of the city as a World Heritage Site for its cultural importance and its impressive architectural heritage. This international recognition acknowledged Alcalá as a City of Arts and Sciences during the Renaissance and the Spanish Golden Age and it also highlighted its enormous contribution to the dissemination of knowledge and language, as well as for being the birthplace of Cervantes.
Throughout its 2000 years of history, Romans, Muslims, Jews and Christians have left their mark on the streets and squares of Alcalá de Henares, a simple and beautiful city that manages to transport its visitors back in time. Alcalá de Henares has a spectacular heritage of monuments: palaces, mansions, gardens, convents, chapels, colleges and halls of residence form the skyline of the city, with the Universidad de Alcalá in the centre of the city.
Culture, therefore, is the word that best defines Alcalá de Henares. Culture that has known how to cross the borders of the Spanish Golden Age and adapt to the present times. Thus, today, visitors can enjoy the Cervantes Prize ceremony, the highest award in the Spanish language; Carnival, Easter Week, the Classical Theatre Festival, Cervantes Week, the ALCINE Festival or the renowned representation of the Don Juan Tenorio play.