Alcala de Júcar in one of the most beautiful towns in Castilla la Mancha located in the southwest of the province of Albacete. With a small population of 1202 inhabitants, the town is just 64 km from the capital of the province and it has an admirable old town, making it an ideal destination for the weekend traveler.
Alcalá del Júcar, Albacete
Without a doubt, we are talking about one of the most beautiful towns in Spain and one of the most picturesque in Albacete and most likely in the entire peninsula. So much so that in 1986 he was third in a contest on the best artistic lighting, just behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Grand Mosque in Istanbul.
But why is this small town home to a heritage of such value? It all goes back to the 12th century when Alcalá de Júcar was a Muslim fortress. It was part of a defense line built on the banks of the river to be able to contain the pressure that the Christian kings gradually exerted on the Muslim empire in the Iberian Peninsula.
For this reason, this town is a mixture of a more Christian-style old town with Arab remains, something that makes it a unique place.
What to see and do in Alcalá del Júcar
Once you get to the town, you might ask yourself: and now what can we visit? Don’t worry, we have a solution. Keep reading this post and discover all the plans and places that We recommend visiting in Alcalá del Júcar in this magical town.
The Arab castle
One of its main attractions is, without a doubt, the Arab castle. This is located on a molar that is formed by the sickle of the Júcar river (which, as we see, gives its name to the town). The castle was built strategically in a high area of the population, which makes the views from it spectacular.
It dates from the 12th-13th centuries and was an invincible fortress against Christian forces until in 1213 King Alfonso VIII was able to definitively regain control of it.
Due to its recent reconstruction works, the beauty of it shines in its maximum splendor. It is made up of a pentagonal tower and two adjoining towers with a circular plan at right angles, with three heights inside. In addition, in the surroundings, you can still see ancient remains of the primitive wall.
The artists’ residence
This small town also has a residence specially intended for artists, the first center with these characteristics in Spain. We recommend a visit to this residence since you will experience first-hand the coexistence of different cultures and artistic styles in an unbeatable setting.
The hermitage of San Lorenzo
Among the best things to see in Alcalá del Júcar, This hermitage is found dates from the year 1579, although due to a sinking it had to be restored in the year 1742. In it, you can find various Neoclassical paintings and remains of decorations. The hermitage is in the full old town of Alcalá del Júcar, which gives it extra beauty.
The parish church of San Andrés
Located in the lower part of the hill, in the urban area of Alcalá del Júcar. This church is undoubtedly one of the main references in the town. Its construction dates from the sixteenth century, but it was not completed until the eighteenth, so due to this we find various architectural features in its architecture, ranging from Gothic to late neoclassical.
Its structure consists of a single nave in the shape of a Latin cross, also having a late Gothic vault. At the head, we can find a cupola cruise dating from 1767.
Customs or dry port
The Roman bridge of Alcalá del Júcar was of great importance in this population, especially in the period between the 14th and 15th centuries. So much so that it ended up becoming the dry or customs port of the Camino Real de Castilla a Levante. This area is worth visiting, not only for its beauty but also for the history it contains.
This square is one of the oldest in Spain. It is an example of the rammed earth constructions since it has an irregular shape and not the typical circle that we all know. It was built on a hill and has about 1,000 locations for the public.
The Masagó caves
Due to the situation of Alcalá, most of the houses of its inhabitants are excavated in the mountain itself, which has caves that even reach the end of the rock on which the town sits. One of the most outstanding caves is, without a doubt, the Masagó cave, named after the founder of the town. This is the oldest cave in the town since it dates back to 1962.
East unique environment it was chopped by hand in the mountains, preserving the original chopped. Lose yourself in its 110 meters of the route and see the sickles of the Júcar from any of its viewpoints or terraces. In addition, you can enjoy La Mancha gastronomy in its restaurant. You can not lose this.
The Garadén caves
These caves are very close to the hermitage of San Lorenzo and are approximately 40 meters high and 35 meters deep. Among his remains, we can appreciate one of the few examples of a fortified cave by the Muslims of the peninsula.
They have 750 years of history. Through its viewpoint, you can have a panoramic view of the town.
We recommend that you take a walk through the meanders of the Júcar river, a river corridor that exceeds 40 km of route. The landscape will captivate you. This is the best option if you are passionate about hiking. The Júcar River crosses various wooded areas of oak groves and fields of labor until it reaches the point of forming a canyon of great beauty in the La Manchuela area.
After all this, do you still doubt go to know Alcalá del Júcar? Do not miss the charm of this town and let yourself fall in love with its magic.