Don Quixote’s Route
Who has never heard about Miguel de Cervantes and his masterpiece Don Quixote de la Mancha ? La Mancha has not been the same since Don Quixote was born, and Don Quixote would not have been the same without this barren and flat land, in the middle of mountainous Spain .
Alcala de Henares, Cervantes’ home town .
Alcala de Henares within the Community of Madrid is a literary city par excellence. There, the greatest Spanish language writer, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, was born. Alcala is a university city as well as a World Heritage Site where you will be able to picture how life was from the Middle Ages to Cervantes’ time.
Places to visit : – Cervantes’ Native Home Museum .
– The University (one of the more prestigious of that time).
Day 2 – Esquivias, El Toboso, Consuegra.
In 1584 Miguel de Cervantes married Catalina de Salazar in the village of Esquivias. There, the house of Don Alfonso Quijada, a relative of Catalina de Salazar’s, is well-preserved and open to the public. According to some theories, Cervantes wrote part of his masterpiece in this house and was inspired by the rich landowner to create his literary character. By visiting this house you will learn about the way Don Quixote lived. This is the best place to read the first chapter of Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Place to visit : – Don Alfonso Quijada’s house.
To meet Dulcinea, you must go to El Toboso. An appropriate reading at this place to learn about Don Quixote’s platonic love for his lady is the chapter about Don Quixote’s penance and the “Enchantment of Dulcinea”. Introduction to the Court love and the humor in Don Quixote de la Mancha .
The visit to “Dulcinea’s House” will help you learn about the worldwide distribution of Don Quixote de la Mancha , by seeing the editions and representations that were done throughout the nobleman’s life.
Place to visit : – Dulcinea’s House.
The eleven huge windmills that dominate Consuegra hill will help you understand why Don Quixote thought they were giants. The windmill “Sancho” still mantains the 16 th century machinery.
Places to visit : – The windmills. – The 16 th century castle.
Day 3 – Argamasilla de Alba, Lagunas de Ruidera, Puerto Lapice
Argamasilla de Alba
Azorin is one of the writers that assert, on the basis of the historical characters of the work, that Cervantes began to write his immortal masterpiece in Argamasilla de Alba, while he was imprisoned in Medrano’s Cave.
Place to visit : – Medrano’s Cave
Lagunas de Ruidera
In the middle of the hardness of La Mancha , there is a natural paradise. Don Quixote and Sancho headed towards Lagunas de Ruidera National Park after Camacho’s wedding in El Bonillo.
In Montesinos’s Cave, Don Quixote met Merlin the Magician who explained to him how the seven turquoise-colored lagoons had emerged as well as the “Enchantment of Dulcinea”.
Places to visit : – Lagunas de Ruidera National Park.
– Montesinos’s Cave.
Many episodes of Don Quixote de la Mancha are staged at the “Ventas”, inns on the roadsides of Spain . Puerto Lapice still has an intact 17 th century “Venta”, with its courtyard, where Don Quixote may have been armed a knight by a “Castilian”.
Places to visit : – The “Ventas”
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