Alcalá de Henares is a Spanish city, which belongs to the Community of Madrid. It is located in the basin of the river Henares, around 31km (20 miles) northwest of Madrid. The name itself means “Castle on the Henares", and for this reason the city’s coat of arms shows a castle surrounded by water, which represents the river. The city was named a World Heritage Site in 1998.
Among the popular historic and artistic attractions are the University of Alcalá, the Puerta de Madrid monument from the 18th century, the birth house of Miguel de Cervantes, the Corral de Comedias de Alcalá (dating from 1601), the Hospital de Antezana (1483), Castillo de Alcalá La Vieja, the Casa de Hippolytus archaeological site and the the ruins of Complutum and the Plaza de Toros.
Due to all the activities and events organised by the city council and the Community of Madrid as part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the first publishing of Don Quixote, the city has featured prominently in the media, which has made the city into one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. One of the main symbols associated with the city are the storks, in particular the white stork, which have settled in the city thanks to the numerous church towers, where they could roost. On 23rd April every year the city celebrates the death of Cervantes with the presentation of the Miguel de Cervantes literature prize. The 9th October on the other hand, is Cervantes Day, commemorating the writer’s birth with various cultural events and a Medieval Market.
Accommodation in Alcalá’s student residences
Alcalá is well known academically for its university, founded in 1499, but then subsequently moved to Madrid in 1836. In 1975 the city became home to various faculties of the Complutense University of Madrid, which eventually lead to the reestablishment of the University of Alcalá. Certain student residences provide accommodation to visitors during the summer months. It should be understood that these residences are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the halls do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Getting around Alcalá
The city is lined with Madrid via the 223, 227 and 229 bus routes. It is also well connected by train with places such as Zaragoza, Barcelona and Valencia. The main train lines towards Madrid are the C-1, C-2 and C-7.