Miguel de Cervantes and Córdoba

Miguel de Cervantes and Córdoba
Miguel de Cervantes and Córdoba

He Professor José de Contreras y Saroin a conference given at the Ateneo de Sevilla, has forcefully stated that, with the new documents found, Miguel de Cervantes is a native of Córdobanews that has spread like wildfire through the digital press, through the pages of all the written press newspapers and through social networks, something normal because it is the most important author of the Spanish language. This resounding statement has convulsed Cervantes and scholars of the author of ‘Don Quixote’, including the Professor Enrique Soria who immediately denied it. The birthplace of Cervantes, which has always been the subject of multiple investigations by eminent Cervantes, this professor has solved in one fell swoop, based on some statements made by Miguel de Cervantes in Seville (1593) in which He claims to be a native of Córdoba in the Tomás Gutiérrez lawsuit. I remember that in this well-known lawsuit he did claim to “be the son and grandson of people who have been relatives of the Holy Office of Córdoba”, which reflects the bond that united him to this city, beyond Professor Contreras’ claim.

I have studied in depth – and I have reflected it in ‘The Gentleman Don Rodrigo de Cervantes’– the life of Miguel de Cervantes in Córdoba, where he formed a deep friendship with his companions, which lasted throughout his life, among them Tomas Gutierrez, innkeeper, comedian, actor, half-poet and with an overwhelming sympathy, who always captivated Miguel de Cervantes. The evidence provided by Professor José de Contreras, a statement by Miguel de Cervantes in a trial of his great friend Tomás Gutiérrez, where he says that he was born in Córdoba, lacks foundation. In those times, any statement could help save a friend in a trial, but this could never replace the essential, reliable proof of Miguel de Cervantes’ birth certificate. As simple as that. Alcala de Henareshowever, was the first appointment of Don Juan de Cervantes in 1509 and there his son was born the following year Rodrigowhich explains why his birth certificate is in the town of Alcala.

On the other hand, when Professor Enrique Soria, to oppose José Contreras’ thesis, states that Cervantes was born in Alcalá de Henares, incurs the same failure, by not including a supporting document that supports said statement. We know that Miguel de Cervantes He was baptized in the parish church of Santa María la Mayor of Alcalá de Henares on October 9, 1547, being witnesses Juan Pardo, Baltasar Vázquez and the priest himself, a bachelor Bartolome Serrano, as recorded in the first baptism book, folio 192 of the parish church of Santa María la Mayor… It is very likely, as Professor Enrique Soria maintains, that Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alcalá de Henares, the September 29, 1547, the day of the archangel Saint Michael, because on this date there seems to be unanimous consensus, and that he was baptized about ten days after his birth, a space, an interval that used to be respected, although there were exceptions. I adhere to the thesis of the experts who insist that there is no birth certificate that confirms that Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alcalá de Henares, nor in Córdoba, of course. I can’t quite assimilate the hypothesis of the cousin who was born in Córdoba. I respect it, but I don’t share it at all.

But there is a very important aspect, on which I want to insist, which I would summarize in this section: the Cervantes have been from Córdoba for several generations. Which is very important. And Córdoba unfortunately does not claim it. Therefore, I ask you to allow me to expand on this news, to insist, rather, on this aspect.


In the bloody and mournful event that the idyllic Córdoba of the three cultures, Christian, Mosaic and Muslim in 1473, in which there were several deaths, which recalls the Cruz del Rastro monument in Córdobatwo families of converts or new Christians appear, by the way, facing each other: the Torreblancas and the Cervantes. Of the Torreblancas, a wealthy Córdoba family, Don Juan Díaz de Torreblanca stood out, whom his parents sent to the prestigious University of Salamanca to study Physics (Medicine), becoming a famous surgeon in Córdoba. From the Cervantes family, also from Córdoba, we have Don Juan de Cervantes, son of Don Rodrigo Díaz de Cervantes, “by trade a clothier or rag picker”, residing in the collón (parish) San Nicolás de la Villa, with fewer resources and perhaps therefore belonging to a lower echelon, but with sufficient means for his son Juan to study Law at the University of Salamanca. Don Juan de Cervantes, appointed in 1549, neither more nor less than a lawyer of the Holy Office of Córdoba, is the grandfather of Miguel de Cervantes and his wife Doña Leonor de Torreblanca, the grandmother, something that Miguel de Cervantes boasted about when he declared in several occasions “to be familiar with the Holy Office…”.

The cause of the enmity between both families, which I omit so as not to elaborate, arose in these events cited in 1473, it was softened when Don Juan de Cervantesbeing mayor of Baena, fell in love and married Mrs. Leonor de Torreblancaa very intelligent person, but illiterate, which is why perhaps he received a large dowry, and this worsened with the separation of the young couple, something new if we take into account that he was the lawyer of the Holy Office.

Let it be very clear, I insist, that Don Juan de Cervantes and Doña Leonor de Torreblanca are from Cordoba and that they are grandparents of Miguel de Cervantes, Cordoba from at least the 15th century.

‘The Ingenious Gentleman Don Rodrigo de Cervantes’ is a historical novel, based on extensive documentary information extracted from different archives, which highlights some biographical facts about the Cervantes as told by Francisco del Valle. Don Rodrigo, with his four children -Miguel is the third-, his wife Leonor de Cortinas and his mother Doña Leonor de Torreblanca leave the Valladolid prison at matins time, thanks to the loving favors of La Cervanta and after receiving the director the document of nobility and the birth certificate, but without settling the debts to the Judaizers, something that will cause very serious damage. The destination is Córdoba, but passing through Cómpluto, where they have to sell some land. Why Córdoba? Because his father lived there, the all-powerful lawyer of the Holy Office, although he feared his reaction and above all the terrifying fights between the Cervantes and the Torreblancas. Finally, they arrived in Córdoba on October 31, 1553, entering through the Puerta Nueva, near Axarquía, and staying on Grajeda Street, near Potro, in their uncle’s house, Torreblanca, because Doña Leonor refused to stay there. mansion-house of El Licensed, on Letrados Street, now gone, where the Corregidor also lived, and a stone’s throw from Las Tendillas. But this bothers Don Juan de Cervantes and he provides them with a larger home on this same street, coming from the evictions carried out by the Holy Office, something that revives the old fights between both families. Don Rodrigo, supported by his father, lives comfortably and even acquires the title of Physician of the Holy Office, provided by the apothecary Don Felipe Esbarroya, a personality at that time, with which his title of Zurujano is surpassed, thrown away, but The fratricidal fights between the Torreblancas and the Cervantes increase to a worrying point. The Cervantes family rubs shoulders with those of high society, of which there is evidence from Don Rodrigo’s multiple affairs. The children, especially Miguelito, visit his grandfather and The Graduate has a predilection for him, whom he asks to do Law in Salamanca. There are many scenes that demonstrate it. His grandfather also advised him to enter the Academy of Vieras and to study at the prestigious Colegio de Santa Catalina, of the Company of Jesus, governed by the teacher and playwright Father Acevedo, who had a decisive influence on Miguel de Cervantes, according to will recognize later. Here, in Córdoba, he will establish a true friendship with some friends, which will last throughout his life: Alonso de Cervantes de Sotomayor, Gonzalo de Cervantes – whose second surname is probably Miguel de Cervantes – Juan Castilla y Aguayo, Juan Rufo, author of the Austrian, celebrated in several of his works Cervantes not included in the gracious scrutiny of Don Quixote, and also the very clever Tomás Gutiérrez, innkeeper, playwright, poet for whom Miguel de Cervantes professed true admiration, perhaps for his very rich character and for his sympathy. Don Rodrigo’s life ended up going awry, for many reasons, which did not exclude his clumsiness, and in which the quarrelsome Torreblanca and the extreme persecution perpetrated by the fearsome Judaizers who would not forgive a debt for anything in the world played a leading role. . Thus, father and son, Don Rodrigo and Miguel de Cervantes, united by hardships, had a life full of difficulties and truly unfortunate, something that moves and saddens.

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