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University and old precinct of Alcalá de Henares

Travel Guide Europe Spain Madrid Alcalá de Henares University and old precinct of Alcalá de Henares

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Introduction

Alcalá de Henares, University

Alcalá de Henares, University

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

Set in the old city of Alcalá de Henares, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can find many impressive buildings, but the most important of all of them is the University of Alcalá, which was founded as the University de Complutense in 1496 by Cardinal Cisneros with the name of San Ildefonso College. Together with the University of Salamance, the University of Alcalá is the cradle of Humanism in Spain.

The University de Complutense moved to Madrid in 1836, but in 1977 a new University was founded in Alcalá in the same buildings as were the old University used to be. Most of the buildings are a bit more modern and lie a bit further to the east of the town, where there also is a trainstation for the university. The Old building nowadays is still the headquarters of the university, and the place were students need to go to register for their studies, and hopefully also for their graduation. There are guided tours of the university, if you want to see the place. Tickets can be bought on the righthand side of the entrance, where there also is a small shop.

Note that the university can be closed during weddings, as there also is a chapel inside the building. If after your visit you feel that you would like to marry here, also note that only graduates from the University are allowed to be married here.

On the 23th of April, the anniversary of Cervantes' death, the Cervantes Prize is awarded to a writer as a lifetime achievement award. In the Spanish-speaking world this is the most prestigious award in literature. The award is presented by the King of Spain in the Paraninfo (Great Hall) of the university.

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Opening Hours

Guided tours:

  • Monday to Friday at: 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm and 7:00pm.
  • Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays at: 11:00am, 11:30am, 12:00pm, 12:30pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 7:00pm and7:30pm.
Alcalá de Henares, University courtyard

Alcalá de Henares, University courtyard

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

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Cost

General admission: €2.50.

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Getting There

By Plane

The nearest major airport is the airport of Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD). From there you can take the number 8 Metro Line to Nuevos Ministerios, where you can take the train to Alcalá de Henares.

By Train

Aranjuez can be reached very easily by train from Madrid. The cernanias (the commuter trains that services the suburbs of Madrid) also goes to Alcalá. It is the last stop on the C-2 line, and a stop on the C-7 that goes to Guadalajara (Spain). From Sol in the middle of Madrid, it takes around 40 minutes to arrive at the station in Alcalá. For students that need to go to the university of Alcalá, there also a trainstop called Alcalá - Universidad.

By Car

From Madrid, Alcalá can be reached by taking the A-2 motorway, this is also the motorway that you need to take if you come from Guadalajara, or even further, like Zaragoza or Barcelona.

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This is version 4. Last edited at 10:01 on Dec 16, 11 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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