The area that unfurls down the hill east of Plaza de Santa Ana is referred to as the Barrio de las Letras because of the writers who lived here during Spain's golden age of the 16th and 17th centuries. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616), the author of Don Quijote, spent much of his adult life in Madrid and lived and died at Calle de Cervantes 2; a plaque (dating from 1834) sits above the door.
Sadly, the original building was torn down in the early 19th century. When Cervantes died his body was interred around the corner at the Convento de las Trinitarias, which is marked by another plaque. Still home to cloistered nuns, the convent is closed to the public; forensic archaeologists finally found Cervantes' remains in 2015. A commemorative Mass is held for him here every year on the anniversary of his death, 23 April. Another literary landmark is the Casa de Lope de Vega, the former home of Lope de Vega (1562–1635), Spain's premier playwright. It's now a museum containing memorabilia from Lope de Vega's life and work.