Visit Scheduled to Sister City in Spain

The San Diego-Alcala Sister City Society is sponsoring a goodwill visit and tour to Alcala de Henares, Spain, beginning Oct. 14.

The date commemorates the day 500 years ago that Queen Isabella granted her first audience to Christopher Columbus in Alcala de Henares. The two-week goodwill tour, which is open to the public, will begin with the presentation of an engraved silver box from Mayor Roger Hedgecock to the mayor of the Spanish sister city.

Alcala de Henares was the royal summer residence where Queen Isabella gave birth to Catherine of Aragon, who became the first wife of King Henry VIII of England. Author Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alcala, and Friar Diego helped poor students in the Alcala university that is now 450 years old.

California’s first European settlement, the Mission San Diego de Alcala here, was named for Friar Diego of Alcala, and the University of San Diego, located in Alcala Park, was architecturally modeled after the Spanish university.

The cost of the goodwill visit, which includes air fare, first-class hotels, most meals and taxes, is $2,223. Reservations can be made at the Chula Vista Travel Center on K Street through Sept. 20.