According to the eponymous hero of the great Spanish novel El Quixote, El Toboso is where the peerless Dulcinea lived. He tells how on entering the town, you take two hundred steps until your reach a great tower, not, as Quixote first imagined, the palace where he would find his beloved, but the town's main church.
If you do find the lady, she will no doubt welcome you in and show you the secrets of her house before preparing a dish of duelos y quebrantos - literally, "griefs and groans", but in fact a local speciality of scrambled eggs with bacon and pork bits. These days, the peasant girl Aldonza Lorenzo, the unknowing model for the gentleman's idealised lady-love, will not be waiting in Dulcinea's house with such delicacies, but every corner of this museum is fresh with reminders of the universal couple, the product of the ingenious pen of Miguel de Cervantes.
The house is a traditional two-storey farmhouse, with a white-washed tower known as the Casa de la Torrecilla - "the house of the little tower" - and whose owner inspired the author to create the character. Inside you will fin displays of typical farm implements and tools, cheese-making apparatus, seventeenth-century furniture, large vats where wine would have been stored, and a large oil press in the courtyard.
If you follow on through the streets of El Tobosa, you will find, amid the typical houses of La Mancha, monuments that figure in the old story: the Church of San Antonio Abad, the Plaza Mayor (main square), the Trinitarias Convent, where the nuns display their skill in embroidery and wicker work. Finally you reach the Cervantes Museum where copies of the masterpiece are on display in every language imaginable. The final icing on the cake has to be the chance to enjoy a true Quixote-style meal with pisto manchego (a type of ratatouille), local cheeses and wines, and pastries as sweet as the lady Dulcinea herself.
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