Mancha Real, Comarca de Sierra Mágina
Mancha Real is located to the centre-south of Jaén, to 19 kilometres to the east of its capital and to 30 and 40 kilometres respectively from Baeza and Úbeda, with good approach roads until the urban area from all directions. The municipality limits with Villatorres, Begíjar, Baeza, Jimena, Torres, Pegalajar, La Guardia y Jaén.
Geographically, it is part of Sierra Mágina and constitutes a perfect entrance to the Parque Natural with the same name. The municipal district spreads out from the River Guadalquivir (to the north), an area olive countryside, until the foothills of Sierra Mágina (to the south), where we can find the forest lands of the town.
Mancha Real is one of the towns of the area with a vegetative negative growth, thanks to the employment and residence possibilities that it offers and to the quality of its services, what allows not only the fixing of the native population, but the welcome of a considerable.
It is one of the most industrial towns of the province, with a clear balance of the economic activity. The local economy, traditionally dependent on the olive grove cultivation and the oil industry, bases on the gradual industrial establishment, mainly in the timber sector, as well as it has a stable activity in machinery industries and we also find the presence of a leading company throughout the country in the manufacture of computer equipments. The commerce and the services are other sectors with an important impact in the local economic activity. Mancha Real that is a town with an important enterprising capacity, had the recognition of the Premio al “Municipio Dinámico de Andalucía 2003”, given by the magazine called Andalucía Económica.
This town was founded in 1537 by Real Orden of Juana I de Castilla, order that would not be effective until 1539 by the king Carlos I. At first it was dependent on Jaén and it was named La Manchuela de Jaén.
In 1557 the king Felipe II made it independent from the jurisdiction of Jaén.
In1653, 25 November, to commemorate the visit made by the king Felipe IV, the justices of the Villa agree that from now on it is called Mancha Real.
Mancha Real Monuments
Parish Church of San Juan Evangelista, XVI century. Built by Andrés de Vandelvira and finished by López de Rojas, Aranda Salazar and Ventura Rodríguez.
Traces from the old Carmelita convent of San Juan de la Cruz.
Hermitages of San Marcos and LaInmaculada from the XVIII century.
Vaulted niche of El Cristo de la Salud in Sancho Street (XVII century), of El Cristo de la Yedra (XIX century) in La Cruz Street, and of La Virgen de las Angustias in San Francisco Street.
Monumental façades of private buildings.
The gastronomy of Mancha Real is the typical of Sierra Mágina: fried breadcrumbs, pipirranas (salad with onion, tomato and cucumber), gazpacho (a cold Andalusia soup), bread rolls, gusanillos (a kind of sweet), etc. All the dishes revolve around the extra virgin olive oil, one of the best oils in the world.
About its confectionery we can mention the famous sponge cakes and the wine read rolls, preserved for Christmas the Moorish custom of making the delicious almendrados and alfajores (two round sweet biscuits with dulce de leche or jam covered with powdered sugar).
How to get there
To arrive Mancha Real from the north the best way it to go until Madrid and there take the Motorway of Andalucía N VI, and until you get Bailén take the exit to Jaén, N 323. Then you have to take the Motorway A 316 until you get Mancha Real.
From the south of Andalucía you have to take the Motorway A 324, then the A 301 from Granada.
Jaén 19 km
Torres 12 km
Jimena 17 km
Cirueña 10 km
Bedmar 25 km
Garcíez 20 km
Pegalajar 8,5 km
La Guardia de Jaén 24 km
Albánchez de Mágina 24 km