Alcala la Real

Alcalá la Real located in a strategic area in the south of the Iberian Peninsula had border character that had in the past that historically marked the city by the passage of different cultures

There are testimonies of occupation through archaeological sites from the Middle Paleolithic, the Neolithic, the Copper Age, the Argaric Bronze and the Late Bronze, to the Iberian culture, the Roman and late Roman times.

The first Muslim settlement in Alcalá la Real in the year 713 AD During the reign of Al-Hakem II (822-852 AD) a network of fortresses was established for protection against the Normans. The first conquest of Alcalá la Real by the Christians took place in the year 1074 reigning Alfonso VI (1072-1109 ) but was later recovered by the Muslims.

During the 13th and 14th centuries, Alcalá la Real was successively conquered by Muslims and Christians. It was not definitively conquered by the Christians until Alfonso XI in the 14th century.

Until the conquest of Granada in 1492 Alcalá la Real became a point of concentration of the troops that the King of Castile used to make their incursions. With the conquest of Granada and left the Fortress of La Mota and inhabit their suburbs. In later centuries the nobles built their residences there.

In the town, we find as main monuments:

Abbey Mayor Church

Initially it was Gothic temple remodeled after the taking of Granada, already in Renaissance style. It begins to rebuild in the sixteenth century and is covered with plateresque decoration. In this sector, the funeral chapels are created as monumental plateresque covers, in the same way as the access arches to the Baptistery.

The rest of the church is the product of the transformation carried out in the sixteenth century. Later Fray Cristóbal de San José raised the headboard as a great triumphal arch divided into three arches at the same height.

Gothic remains of the church remain the Chapel of Dean Cherinos.

Inside it is organized in three naves of two sections each, with a high choir at the feet. Its Baptismal Chapel stands out, with a double Renaissance façade and coffered vault, initially attributed to Jacobo Florentino.

From the outside we can access the church by a cover with a semicircular arch decorated with acanthus palmettes in the voussoirs. We can see two other covers, which are Mannerist style. The exterior is formed by buttresses topped by pinnacles and a tower crowned by a stonework spire, which rises well above the height of the fortress as a symbol of Christian victory over the old Muslim power.

The temple remained in solitude since the city began to spread over the flat area from the sixteenth century until almost complete abandonment in the eighteenth century and the fire of French troops in the nineteenth century.


It is a triangular-shaped fortress that consists of three towers: the Torre del Homenaje, the Bell Tower (also called Torre de la Vela) and the Mocha Tower. The Torre del Homenaje is the largest of the three, with a height of 20 m, from where you can see Sierra Nevada. Both buildings are an architectural landmark of the region.

Walled perimeter

Being one of the most extensive in Andalusia, it is dotted with different towers and doors, of which the most imposing are the Tower of the Prison and the Door of the Image. It is currently in the process of being restored.

Abbatial Palace

The current corresponds to the eighteenth century, when the definitive depopulation occurred. The construction is of neoclassical type with French and Italian influence. It has an interior cloister, with a patio and three galleries open to it. Today it is the headquarters of the Museum of Alcalá la Real and a tourist information office.