Plaza de Cervantes was probably the first of many open spaces that started to be used as a meeting point for citizens.
In the 12th century, this square was known as the forum, since it was the place where the town crier used to read the municipal agreements and the archbishop’s regulations. Due to this informative activity, the road to our right is called the Preguntoiro. The corner is occupied by the former Town Hall, which was here until 1787, when it was moved to Rajoy Palace.
Sometime later, when the square started to be used as a sales point for food and other goods, it received the name of Plaza do Campo, becoming the city’s main marketplace. This commercial activity attracted the better-off merchant bourgeoisie, as can be seen in the houses surrounding the square.
When the market was moved to the Plaza de Abastos at the end of the 19th century, this square became known as Plaza de Cervantes. In honour of the writer, his bust crowns the fountain and reminds us that, although born in Alcalá de Henares, the author of Don Quixote had two Galician surnames: Cervantes and Saavedra.
At this point, pilgrims travelling the French Route will continue down Rúa da Azabachería as far as the Cathedral, thus reaching their longed-for destination and completing their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.