Armchair Travel: A Photo Tour Through Don Quixote's La Mancha

  • Alcalá de Henares

    The creator of Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes, began his journey from the town of Alcalá de Henares, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is northeast of Madrid and means literally, "citadel on the river."

    Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Krishnamurthy

  • Alcalá de Henares

    Alcalá de Henares was one of the earliest town's in Europe to begin a university. The works of Cervantes paved the way for its academic excellence and its status in the world of literature. One can walk freely in and out of the magnificent buildings, admiring the cupolas and turrets.

    Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Krishnamurthy

  • The Plaza Mayor at Chinchon

    The 16th Century Plaza Mayor is unique for its 234 wooden balconies. Used for livestock fairs in earlier days, the plaza square offers excellent dining options. Local delicacies include a rich soup made with plenty of garlic, two-day-old bread, olive oil and paprika to tease the taste buds. 

    Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Krishnamurthy

  • Cuenca

    Located in a beautiful countryside, Cuenca is known for housing Spain's first gothic cathedral and the ornate casas colgadas (hanging houses), suspended from sheer cliffs overlooking the Haecar River. Cuenca had Muslim origins until Christians took over the city in the 12th century.

    Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Krishnamurthy

  • Casa de Medrano

    Here, the Casa de Medrano cell in Argamasilla de Alba, where Cervantes supposedly began Don Quixote. Cervantes struggled to make a living. It is believed that a painting donated by an unfortunate noble man to a local church was the inspiration for Cervantes' story.

    Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Krishnamurthy

  • Parador de Alarcón

    Along much of Don Quixote’s plains, Alarcón is a surprisingly unique. It is a medieval walled city has an impressive castle built by the Muslims in the 8th century, Parador de Alarcón.

    Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Krishnamurthy

  • Consuegra

    Consuegra is a city of castle and windmills. The 11 molinos, pristine white cylinders with black conical caps, each have names, including Sanco, Bolero and Mambrino. In operation until the 1980s, the windmills were then used to grain wheat. 

    Photo courtesy of Bhaskar krishnamurthy

  • Consuegra

    Consuegra is considered the capital of saffron spice. Crocus Sativa is the specific species of saffron that is harvested in Consuegra. Considered the most expensive saffron variety in the world, it takes about one million flowers to produce one pound of saffron.

    Photo courtesy of Bhaksar Krishnamurthy

  • Castlla-La Mancha

    Castilla-La Mancha, or “New Castilla,” encompasses a wide plateau, with farms and ranches on the flat land and vineyards in the mountainous areas. Archeological remains confirm human presence in the area for over 4,000 years. The most of these were farmers raising sheep and producing cheese from the milk. Cheese connoisseurs seek out the artisanal mancehego that comes from this land.

    Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Krishnamurthy

  • Toledo

    Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has for centuries been a congregation of three cultures–Christians, Jewish and Muslim. Influence of three religions can be seen throughout the old, narrow, winding streets and the vibrant art cafes and shops.

    Photo courtesy of Bhaskar Krishnamurthy


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