HOUSE OF MEDRANO MUSEUMArgamasilla de Alba (Ciudad Real)GPS: 39.130001068115234, -3.0887999534606934
A very ancient tradition, collected by the first commentators of Don Quixote and Cervante’s biographers, say that in the basements of a house of Argamasilla de Alba, known as “Casa de Medrano”, “Don Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra” was imprisoned, starting there the redaction of his special novel “Don Quixote.”
It is known that in the beginning of 17th century the house belonged to the influential family Medrano: at first it was a large house from La Mancha in two highs around a courtyard and diverse rooms distributed across the rest of the ground floor. Today, the house has only one floor, with façades of access to the Cervantes Street, made with whitewashed parameters and blue plinths.
The current building was opened on 23rd April 1994, the day when Cervantes passed out. Among its current rooms we can emphasize:
- Cervantes cave: from the exit of the Tourist Office to the courtyard, under the portico, you can access to the Cave. It is a basement of two levels, which has preserved almost intact. In its first level you can find the room which served as a prison and where presumably was imprisoned Cervantes.
- Gregorio Prieto Gallery. It owes its name to the famous painter from Valdepeñas that in life wanted to join his person and legacy to this place. Gregorio Prieto shut himself in for two days in the cave and there he created the Foundation that preserves his valuable legacy. Besides, he wanted to conclude this merger with the donation of 17 works to the village of Argamasilla. This collection gathers a varied sample of art and the other styles he practice. The motifs are mainly cervantines, although they include characters and places specifically from Argamasilla.
- Auditorium. The large courtyard of the ancient building was prepared in the 70s like a peculiar “corral de comedia” where outdoors theatre representations and other activities were carried out. The Theater Journeys “Cueva de Cervantes” appeared in it and still are celebrated in August. This new auditorium joins in an equitable way traditional and modern architectonical elements and offers an appropriate frame for the diverse cultural activities that are carried out today in the city.
- Tourist Office. Opened on December 2000, the visitor is offered the attention and information needed to make the stay with us the most agreeable and advantageous possible.
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00-14:00 / 16:00-19:00 (in summer 17:00-20:00). Sundays and public holidays: 10:00-14:00.
Global entry: 2€. Reduced entry (pensioners, retirees, disability of 33%, large family and youth card: 1€. Free entry for children younger than 8.
Famous literary men visited the house in 1905, date of the 3rd Centenary of Don Quixote, like Azorín, who place record of his visit in his work “La ruta del Quijote”:
"¿Qué hay en el ambiente de este pueblo que haya hecho posible el nacimiento y desarrollo, precisamente aquí, de esta extraña, amada y dolorosa figura? ¿De qué suerte Argamasilla de Alba, y no cualquier otra Villa manchega, ha podido ser la cuna del más ilustre, del más grande de los caballeros andantes?".
Enigmas still unsolved.