Alcala la Real
Alcala la Real, Jaen
Alcalá la Real is located to the South of the province, at the intersection of Córdoba and Granada, over a wide plateau with a view of the Cerro de la Mota, in the middle of a mountainous region covered with olive groves.
At the foot of the famous Castillo de la Mota and the surrounding walls, National Monument since 1931, we can observe Alcalá la Real, with its urban structure of Arab origin, its steep streets mixed with houses, full of surprises, stately houses, churches and architectural details, and with signs of its magnificence and its rich historic past, like we can observe in these places: The Church of Consolación, the one of Santo Domingo, the Church of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias, the Church of S. Juan Bautista, the Palace Abacial, the Town Hall and the Spring of Pilar de los Álamos.
From the viewpoint of San Juan Tadeo, in the neighbourhood of Las Cruces, the visitor can enjoy a magnificent view of Alcalá la Real and its Castle.
Alcalá la Real is an enclave located at the South of the Iberian Peninsula with a great strategic importance and the nature of frontier has been constant in the course of the history.
Its privileged position combined with the constant number of people of different cultures and status, has became in a rich exchange of ideas, from there the cosmopolitan and open-minded character of Alcalá la Real.
Although the human settlement in Alcalá la Real is attested from the Paleolithic, its role in history starts to be relevant in Medieval Age.
Previously we can find testimonies of a constant settlement through many archaeological sites distributed all around the municipal district, that include the Middle and Final Neolithic, the Copper Age, the Middle and Late Bronze, the Iberian Culture, the Roman Age.
The first Islamic settlers got Alcalá la Real in 713 A.D. During the reign of Al-Hakem II (822-852 A.D.) there was built the network of watchtowers to protect the territory from the invasions of the northern villages in Europe.
The XII century was the most brilliant of Alcalá la Real in the Islamic history, being Abd al-Malik the governor of the Fortress de la Mota, since the population became independent of the African power. Regarding to the arts and literary we can emphasize Ibn Said al-Magribí, who is in the Islamic literature the same as Cervantes in the Spanish one.
During XIII and XIV centuries Alcalá la Real was successively conquest by the Moslems and Christians; in 1340 Christians settled permanently whose king was Alfonso XI.
In 1341 this king founds an abbey of royal patronage with its own and independent jurisdiction; from this period of splendor we can observe the Main Church Abacial and the Palace Abacial.
From the conquest of Granada the population started to leave the Fortress to settle in the poor quarters of its hillsides, until in the XVII century the Town Council moves its buildings to the present Town Hall to approach its citizens.
With the invasion of the Napoleonic troops take place the disbanding and subsequent destruction of the Church Abacial that will fall down at the end of the XIX century with an earthquake.
Alcalá la Real Monuments
Fortress of La Mota.
Church of Santa María la Mayor
Remains of the Church Santo Domingo
Church of San Juan Bautista
Church of Consolación
Church of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias
Church of San Antón
Church of Santa Ana
Convent of San José de los Capuchinos
Convent of las Madres Trinitarias
Hermitage of La Coronada
Church of San Marcos
Dominican Convent of La Encarnación
Fuente Alamo Watchtower
Square Arcipreste de Hita, with the Town Hall and the Houses of Enfrente, conceived like corn exchange and fish shop, nowadays with a commercial and residential use.
Town Hall, XVIII century.
Lunar Clock, in the tower of the Town Hall, built by Fernando de Tapia.
Calle Real, that descends from the Fortress to the plain. Their houses are a sign of the prosperous past in Alcalá. We can emphasize by its importance the Compás de Consolación and La Fuente de la Mora.
Fuente del Pilar de los Álamos. It was designed by Jacobo Florentino. In it we can see the shield of the city and we can read this legend: “Key, guard and defending of the kingdoms in Castilla”.
Barrio de las Cruces. It is located in the hillside of the Cerro de las Cruces, opposite the Cerro de la Mota, was called Viacrucis that from the Juego de Pelota moved upward until the Hermitage of Fátima, incomparable viewpoint in which you can admire Alcalá and its fortress.
Other viewpoints such as the one of San Marcos and La Verónica give you amazing panoramic sights of Alcalá.
Sausages (blood sausage, chorizo, and ham). Loin of orza that is preserved in olive oil. Chicken in the secretaria style. Stuffing (a delicious delicacy cooked with a dough of meat, egg and crumbs, and that it is boiled in the curdle of the pig).
Sweets: Cupcakes. Bread rolls of wine. Ring-shaped pastry of brandy. Pastries of butter. Nougat of almond.
Wines and liquors: Wine of the land. Liquor of quince. Arresoli (homemade liquor made with coffee and brandy).
How to get there
If you leave Jaén you have to continue through the Motorway A-6050. Alleyway of Castillo de Locubín, turn left: N-432A and you get Alcalá la Real.
If you leave Granada. You have to continue through the Motorway A-92G. Turn right: N-432 towards Atarfe – Córdoba. Alleyways of Atarfe – Pinos Puente – Puerto López and continue until you get Alcalá la Real.
Distances from Alcalá la Real
Jaén 61 km
Frailes 13 km
Charilla 6 km
Granada 54 km
Montefrío 25 km
Almedinilla 18 km
Mancha Real 78 km
Puerto López 20 km