Walk along Calle de Alcala in Centro Madrid, and you’d be amazed how it is lined with so many beautiful buildings scattered along its length. Quite a number of them are concentrate near the start of this history-rich road, which is at the Puerta del Sol. Green and contemporary, art deco, Grecian, Neo-classical, Neo-mudejar — here is where you could find structures built using all sorts of major designs. The most popular edifices that are sure to capture one’s imagination are the Palacio de Cibeles, Banco de Espana, and Edificio Metropolis.
Still, another captivating building, standing in the corner of Alcala and Calle Barqillo, is the Instituto Cervantes, or the Cervantes Institute in English. Named after Spain’s foremost literary man, Miguel de Cervantes, the writer of Don Quixote, the Alcala-based institution was built using the caryatids or pillars of stones carved to represent a female figure, with the design done by prominent Spanish architects Antonio Palacios and Joaquin Otamendi. Previously, it was used as the office of the Central bank of Spain.
It is an organization created for the public by the Spanish government to foster the love and usage of the Spanish language. It started its operation in 1991, and since then it has continued its goal of promoting and disseminating the language of Spain as well as Spanish and Latin American art and culture.
The Instituto at Alcala Street is one of the two central headquarters, with the other one located at the nearby Madrid town of Alcalá de Henares. Instituto Cervantes also has branches all over the world. For instance, there is one in my own hometown, in Central Manila. I am proud that the branch in the Philippines is considered a Centro Cervantes, or a full-fledged Centre. The smaller schools are known as Aulas Cervantes, Centros Acreditos, and Centros Asociados.
Are you serious about learning the Spanish language the right way? The best choice is the Cervantes since it offers diplomas and certificates in behalf the Ministry of Education of Spain, ones meant for non-natives that are officially recognised by the country.
While the institution is focused on a clear mission which is to propagate the use of the Spanish language, it is also engaged in a wide variety of cultural activities for general public such as exhibits and workshops for both adult and children.
Location: Calle de Alcalá 49 28014
Official website; Email address: email@example.com
How to reach:
Autobus– M2, 1, 5, 9, 14, 15, 27, 34, 45, 46, 51, 52, 74, 146, 150
Metro Train: Banco de España (Nearest), Sol, Sevilla
Library is from from Monday to Friday, 9AM to 3PM
For various activities and events, please consult its website.