University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares (1998)

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Founded by Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros in the early 16th century, Alcalá de Henares was the world's first planned university city. 

It was the original model for the Civitas Dei (City of God), the ideal urban community which Spanish missionaries brought to the Americas. It also served as a model for universities in Europe and elsewhere. 
  • Spain 1966. University of Alcala de Henares, founded 1508. 
  • Spain 2001. Idem. 

Spain 1966. University of Alcala de Henares

Spain 2001. University of Alcala de Henares

Painting of Miguel de Cervantes de Saavedra

The contribution of Alcalá de Henares to the intellectual development of humankind finds expression in its materialization of the Civitas Dei, in the advances in linguistics that took place there, not least in the definition of the Spanish language, and through the work of its great son, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and his masterpiece, Don Quixote. 

In 2005 Spain celebrated the 500th anniversary of the first publishing of Don Quixote, with the below set of four stamps and souvenir sheet. 

  • Contemporary painting of Cervantes. 

Spain 2005. Don Quixote. Stamp #1. Spain 2005. Don Quixote. Stamp #2. Spain 2005. Don Quixote. Souvenir sheet.
Spain 2005. Don Quixote. Stamp #3. Spain 2005. Don Quixote. Stamp #4.

Alcala de Henares is a town in central Spain, in the Madrid Province, on the Henares River, near Madrid. An industrial center in which leather products and soap are produced, Alcalá is also a trading center for the surrounding agricultural area. The town was known to the Romans as Complutum. It was destroyed about 1000 and was rebuilt in 1083 by the Moors. The University of Alcalá, which became a leading educational center in Spain, was founded in 15o8; it was moved to Madrid in 1836. A celebrated early Bible, the Complutensian Polyglot Bible, was printed in Alcalá in 1517. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Spain (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Spain-section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 19 jul 2007  
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