Spain’s greatest writer was interred in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in the Spanish capital with a plague erected in his honour, 399 years after he died and three months after his remains were discovered there by a team of archaeologists.
Ana Botella, the outgoing mayoress of Madrid attended the ceremony, in one of her last official acts before leaving office on Saturday. She placed a laurel wreath at the foot of the monument in a ceremony that included military honours because Cervantes had served as soldier.
Botella keeps cool during the ceremony. Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP
Remains thought to belong to Cervantes were unearthed in March following a year-long quest to find his exact burial spot, although a lack of DNA made it impossible to say definitively.
The father of the modern novel died in 1616 and was buried according to his wishes at the convent in Madrid’s literary quarter.
— Ayuntamiento Madrid (@MADRID) June 11, 2015
The monument is inscribed with a quote from Cervantes himself, from his last novel, The Trials of Persiles and Segismunda.
“Time is short, my agonies increase, my hopes diminish. And yet despite all this, my desire to live keeps me alive.”