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Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Located on a sprawling urban campus in the Ciudad Universitaria district of Madrid, the Universidad Complutense has over 74,000 undergraduate students and over 11,000 graduate students. For over seven centuries, the University Complutense has provided invaluable contributions to the sciences, fine arts, and political leadership, and it is ranked as the top university in all of Spain.
One of the oldest universities in Europe, the origin of the Complutense University of Madrid dates back to the late 13th century, when Sancho IV of Castile granted the Archbishop of Toledo, Gonzalo García Gudiel, a licence to create the General School of Study in Alcalá (Estudio de Escuelas Generales de Alcalá) in 1293. Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, Cardinal and Archbishop of Toledo, Regent of Castile and alumnus of the General School, established the Complutensis Universitas (the Latin name of Complutense University), in 1499. Cisneros provided the new university with a vast area of rustic and urban land as a show of his support for the university. The prestige of the studies and teachers at the Complutense became the model on which new universities in Latin America would be established. The golden era of the university, when it was the core of humanistic thought for the Spanish Monarchy, lasted until the seventeenth century.