Cervantes reburied in Madrid 400 years after his death

Spain gives its greatest writer, author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes, a formal burial nearly 400 years after his remains discovered

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Famous Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, “the Spanish Shakespeare,” has been given a former reburial nearly 400 years after his death following the finding of his remains.

The mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, placed a laurel wreath in a Madrid convent in a ceremony.

Ceremony also  included military honours since Cervantes was also a soldier for Spain.

The bones were dug up this year by experts after a near-year long search at the convent where Cervantes was known to have been buried in 1616.

Cervantes was originally buried in a Madrid convent, but his coffin was later moved and only rediscovered in March with the coffin lid bearing simply his initials.

Apart from his initials they had some more clues. Cervantes died at age 69 and wrote that he had only six teeth by then.

It was also known that Miguel de Cervantes was badly wounded.  Cervantes was hit by three musket shots, two in the chest and one in his hand at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 which pitted Ottoman Turkish forces against the Holy League, led by Spain.

Botella said the monument settled an age-old debt to Cervantes and to Spanish culture.

“Now we can say, ‘Miguel, mission accomplished,’” she said.

Cervantes is highly respected  in Spain. A marathon reading of Don Quixote is held by political and cultural figures on the anniversary of his death on April 23 that is celebrated every year.

TRTWorld and agencies