On September 29, 1547, Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alcalá de Henares. He would go on to become one of the greatest writers in the history of literature and the author of such acclaimed works as The Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha and Exemplary Novels. Every year in early October, the anniversary of his birth is celebrated with Cervantes Week, which combines cultural and festive elements. The week is full of all kinds of events highlighting the life and work of the famous writer from Alcalá de Henares.
For a few days, the city travels back to the 16th century. The festival includes a diverse program of cultural events including theatrical performances, puppet shows, concerts, and guided tours. It all revolves around Miguel de Cervantes and his best-known character, Don Quixote, who is honored in various events throughout the festival including a public reading of the eponymous work. The streets of Alcalá de Henares are the venue for a book fair where you can find old books and bargains, and most of the city’s restaurants offer Cervantes-themed menus for the occasion.