You will find many references in the city to the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes. On this spot, you can see a statue representing the writer. He fought here as an officer with the Spanish Navy, part of the Holy Coalition against the Ottomons. A horrible sea battle took place in the Gulf near the Echinades islands on october 7, 1571, colouring the sea red for several days. Though Cervantes was taken down with fever, he refused to stay below, and begged to be allowed to take part in the battle, saying that he would rather die for his God and his king than keep under cover. He fought bravely on board a vessel, and received three gunshot wounds , two in the chest and one which rendered his left arm useless, resulting in amputation. Cervantes always looked back on his conduct in the battle with pride: he believed that he had taken part in an event that would shape the course of European history. More than 27 000 people got killed during the battle.