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Reception area

Recibimiento

The entrance to Cervantes’ rooms is through an entrance hall which in the writer’s lifetime would have had a view over the south branch of the River Esgueva, now covered over. As in the other rooms, the floor is terracotta, the plaster ceiling has exposed wooden beams and the walls are whitewashed as was usual at that period. In the original arrangement of the house there would not have been any receiver, or entrance area as there was in upper class houses; undoubtedly this room, the brightest in the house, would have been used directly as a reception room for receiving visitors and for working.

However, in this room the intention was to keep the memory alive of the layout of the first Casa de Cervantes in 1875, when Don Mariano Pérez Mínguez decorated it as a tribute to the writer, with exhibits which included some autographs of Cervantes and editions of Don Quixote with a Visitors’ Book so that those who visited the house could leave their impression of the "humble dwelling where Cervantes lived".

With this in mind there have been brought together here the portrait of Felipe III – a replica of the painting by Pedro Antonio Vidal, conserved in the Prado Museum, which recalls the monarch who moved the Court to Valladolid and in whose reign Don Quixote was written ; a St Michael in deference to the writer’s name; the Family Tree of Cervantes, the Topographia e Historia General de Argel, published in 1612, by a certain Fray Diego de Haedo, which has been attributed in part by some to Dr. Antonio de Sosa, a colleague of Cervantes, and which mentions directly the imprisonment of the author; and a facsimile letter in which Cervantes recounts his work as a tax collector.

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