As well as being a lively working university, it has many impressive, historic spaces for visitors to explore.

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Alcalá de Henares University

A plateresque masterpiece dating back to 1499.

The most important university of Spain's "Golden Age" (and during that time one of the most important in the world), the Colegio Mayor de San Ildelfonso was founded in 1499 thanks to Grand Inquisitor Cardinal Cisneros. Plateresque in style, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 but by the 19th century, like many sites owned by the Catholic Church, it had fallen into decay and abandonment, and the university was rescued by a private preservation society and revived as the University of Alcalá. Parts not to miss are the Philosophers' Courtyard and the Courtyard of St Thomas of Villanueva; in the Colegio Menor de San Jerónimo (also known as the "Trilingual") you'll find another lovely courtyard. The most renowned feature of all, though, is no doubt the auditorium - also the venue where on 23 of April every year Spain's most prestigious literary prize, the Cervantes de Literatura, is awarded.

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