Founded by Cardinal Cisneros in 1499, the original foundation included a Major College from which a number of Minor Colleges depended upon The institution was transferred to Madrid in 1836 and returned to Alcalá de Henares in 1977.
The main façade, forming by a plateresque ensemble, was created by Gil de Hontañón in 1553. Several courtyards compose the building´s interior, the Santo Tomás de Villaueva Courtyard being the mist notable amongst them with a herrerian style; and the Patio Trilingüe (Trilingual Courtyard), which used to be a Latin, Greek and Hebrew school.
San Ildefonso´s Chapel is the oldest building within in the University ensemble and its decoration is very much as that of the Paraninfo. It stands out for its Mudejar style covered ceiling and and its Gothic and plateresque style plastered walls. It was built in XVI Century.
Cardinal Cisneros is buried in it. The sepulchre was sculpted with Carrara marble by Domenico Fancelli and Bartolomé Ordóñez.
The Chapel has been reopened recently after the restoration process to which it has been subjected to.