Grotte Hamma

Grotte de Cervantès

Useful Information

Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: electric.
Guided tours:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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13-FEB-1888 committee founded to proove if Grotte Hamma is the cave of Cervantès.
24-JUN-1894 a bust of Cervantès inaugurated at the cave.
07-MAY-1895 .


This cave is famous, because it played an important role in the life of Miguel de Cervantès Saavedra (1547-1616). Cervantès is the author of Don Quijote, probably the most famous book of all times. He was born in Alcalá de Henares near Madrid, Spain. Later he studied at the University of Salamanca. Because of poverty he became servant and then soldier. In the battle of Levanto he lost his left forearm, but he was so brave that he got a letter of recommendation from the Duke of Sesa. On his way home his ship was ambushed by Algerian pirates and he and his brother were imprisoned. As his family was poor, the ransom was much too high. They were able to pay for his brother, so his brother was released and promised to free him.

Cervantès soon became the head of a small group of Christian slaves, who fled and hide in a small cave at the shore. They stay here for weeks and two tries by his brother to rescue him from a frigate fail. Finally they all get captured. After several more tries to flee, he is finally freed by his family giving all they have for ransom. After five years he finally reaches Spain.

This small cave called Grotte Hamma is presumedly the location were Cervantès hid with fourteen other fugitives. A committee is founded in 1888 which approves that this cave has all the properties of the cave described by Cervantès. In 1894 a bust of Cervantès is inaugurated at the cave. And in 1895 a tricentennial was held here with a speech of the Spanish consul Marinas.