International Conference on
Language, emotion and identity

17th September, 2021


Universidad de Alcalá

Plaza de San Diego, s/n
Salón de Actos

The Universidad de Alcalá

The Universidad de Alcalá (UAH) is a public institution founded in 1499 by Cardinal Cisneros. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe and one of the first examples of a planned university city at the service of an educational community. The founding Constitutions of the Universidad de Alcalá inspired the creation of several Latin American universities.

The Cervantes Prize, the most important literary award in the Spanish language, is awarded every year in the Paraninfo of the University.

For more than six centuries the Universidad de Alcalá has been the source of intellectuals, politicians, writers and scientists. The likes of Antonio de Nebrija, San Juan de la Cruz, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Francisco de Quevedo, Calderón de la Barca, Fray Luis de León, San Ignacio de Loyola and Melchor Gaspar de Jovellanos are just a sample of some of the many who have passed through its classrooms and streets.

Integrated in the city of Alcalá de Henares – known for being the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, the creator of the unforgettable Don Quixote de la Mancha – the University is located 30 kilometres from Madrid and 20 kilometres from Madrid-Barajas airport.

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.