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Alcalá de Henares. Chinchón

Cervantish and intense in history, Alcalá de Henares is a village with lots of lineage. You get there by taking the highway that connects Madrid with Guadalajara.

Leaving the Barajas Airport to one side, you really should go to Torrejón de Ardoz that, in spite of being modern, possesses the so-called Big House, a museum of icons, which contains some very noteworthy pieces. Continuing our route, we soon spot Alcalá, to which we will make a thorough visit without missing a single angle of its surroundings filled with monuments. Its university, dating from the year 1498, was founded by Cardenal Cisneros and was set up in a renaissance-style building, which vigorous facade is the work of Rodrigo Gil de Ontafión.

Through the centuries the University of Alcalá has been justifiably famous in the cultural sphere. The House of Cervantes, on Mayor Street, is a reproduction of the typical houses of that period where this universal author of Quijote lived, built with notable mastery on a lot where they say that the parents of Cervantes lived.

The Archbishop’s Palace is another architectural jewel in Alcalá de Henares and, although about to be completely destroyed by a ravenous fire, conserves some very important renaissance elements. The Monastery of the Bernardas is very close by. There are some valuable religious paintings and ornaments in the church. Alcalá conserves the ruins of a wall, brick and masonry that dates back to the XIV century.

Taking N-II out of Alcalá, we turn off onto M-226, which will take us to Santos de Humosa, Santorcaz and Loeches. There we can enjoy a beautiful view of the plains of the Henares River. On the way to Chinchón, we will pass through Campo Real, Nuevo Baztán, Valdilecha, Villarejo de Salvanés, Fuentidueña and Colmenar de Oreja. It is well worth a stop in some of these places to make a very brief visit to its streets and plazas.

Once in Chinchón, we can visit its proud castle of the XIV century, its picturesque and original Main Plaza, with its porches and glazed houses, its Monastery of the Augustines now converted into a National Tourism Inn, its Convent of the Clarisas and its magnificent examples of noble architecture, of which the Casa de la Cadena of the stands out. We go through Tajuña and Arganda del Rey on the road back to Madrid.

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