Photographer's Note

This square has had several denominations throughout its history. Initially it was the "Market Square", then the "Constitution Square" and, since 1879, it is the "Plaza de Cervantes" in memory of his favorite son Miguel de Cervantes. However, popularly it is also called "main square", as it is the main and largest of Alcala de Henares.

The origins of the square are found in the Middle Ages, as a space located outside the medieval city. In her the market of the town was celebrated and the annual fair of the same one, granted by the Castilian king Alfonso VIII in 1184, reason why it received the denomination of Market Square.

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it was fully integrated into the urban area, by the extension of the walls, first, and by the urban development of what would be the university district, later. In this way the square became the main space of the town, the scene of all kinds of public festivities, as well as serving as a border between the jurisdiction of the town and that of the University. There the seat of the Council was located from the XVI century.

In the 19th century the square underwent numerous changes. It received its current name "Plaza de Cervantes" and several works were executed for its beautification; such as the erection in 1879 of the statue of Cervantes that presides over it, and the construction of the Music Kiosk in 1898.

An important urban remodeling was carried out in 1977, for which it was completely paved, the gardens were enlarged and the urban furniture was renewed.The current physiognomy of the Plaza is due to the semi-pedestrian process of its north and west sides, works executed between 2018 and 2019.

In her they end the Main Street, the one of Schools and the one of Locksmiths by the west; and that of Libreros, Bustamante de la Cmara and Pedro Gumiel in the east (the last two lead to the Plaza de San Diego, where the Colegio de San Ildefonso of the University of Alcal is built). By the south it borders the Plaza de Rodrguez Marn and communicates with Colegios Street through the alley of Santa Mara. In the center of it are walks and garden areas, in addition to the statue of Miguel de Cervantes (sculpted by Carlo Nicoli and opened on October 9, 1879) and the Music Kiosk (designed by Martn Pastells and built in 1898 ). 4 5

Rectangular in shape, it has an area of 11,900 m (200 meters long, 60 meters wide.) Its north and west sides are supported. Currently, Plaza de Cervantes has 72 exempt vertical supports: 16 are columns and 56 are stone pillars.


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Esta plaza ha tenido varias denominaciones a lo largo de su historia. Inicialmente fue la "Plaza del Mercado", luego la "Plaza de la Constitucin" y, desde 1879, es la "Plaza de Cervantes" en memoria de su hijo predilecto Miguel de Cervantes. No obstante, popularmente tambin se la denomina "plaza mayor", por ser la principal y ms grande de Alcal de Henares.

Los orgenes de la plaza se encuentran en la Edad Media, como espacio situado extramuros de la ciudad medieval. En ella se celebraba el mercado de la villa y la feria anual de la misma, concedida por el rey castellano Alfonso VIII en 1184, por lo que recibi la denominacin de Plaza del Mercado.

En los siglos XV y XVI qued plenamente integrada en el casco urbano, por la ampliacin de las murallas, primero, y por el desarrollo urbanstico del que sera el barrio universitario, despus. De esta manera la plaza se convirti en el espacio principal de la villa, escenario de todo tipo de festejos pblicos, adems de servir de frontera entre la jurisdiccin de la villa y la de la Universidad. All se situ la sede del Concejo a partir del siglo XVI.

En el siglo XIX la plaza experiment numerosos cambios. Recibi su denominacin actual "Plaza de Cervantes" y se ejecutaron varias obras para su embellecimiento; tales como la ereccin en 1879 de la estatua de Cervantes que la preside, y la construccin del Quiosco de la Msica en 1898.

En 1977 se realiz una importante remodelacin urbanstica, por la que se paviment completamente, se ampliaron los jardines y se renov el mobiliario urbano. La fisionoma actual de la Plaza se debe al proceso de semipeatonalizacin de sus laterales norte y oeste, obras ejecutadas entre 2018 y 2019.

En ella desembocan la Calle Mayor, la de Escuelas y la de Cerrajeros por el oeste; y la de Libreros, Bustamante de la Cmara y Pedro Gumiel por el este (las dos ltimas conducen a la Plaza de San Diego, donde se levanta el Colegio de San Ildefonso de la Universidad de Alcal). Por el sur limita con la plaza de Rodrguez Marn y se comunica con la calle Colegios a travs del callejn de Santa Mara. En el centro de la misma se encuentran paseos y zonas ajardinadas, adems de la estatua a Miguel de Cervantes (esculpida por Carlo Nicoli e inaugurada el 9 de octubre de 1879) y el Quiosco de la Msica (diseado por Martn Pastells y construido en 1898). 45

De forma rectangular, tiene una superficie de 11.900 m (200 metros de largo, por 60 metros de ancho). Sus lados norte y oeste estn soportalados. En la actualidad, la Plaza de Cervantes presenta 72 soportes verticales exentos: 16 son columnas y 56 son pilares de piedra.

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Additional Photos by Luis Garcia (adramad) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8273 W: 5 N: 14905] (66332)
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