Alcalá la Real, in the province of Jaen, Andalusia, is situated on the slopes of the hill of La Mota. La Mota is part of the massive Sierra Magina, a part of the Cordillera Subbetica in Southern Spain. The hill of La Mota and the whole town of Alcalá la Real are famous for its fortress, the La Mota fortress, a Moor fortress that dates back to the Islam conquest of Spain during the eighth Century. La Mota fortress overlooks the town of Alcalá la Real and nearby areas. During this time, Alcalá la Real was named Qal’at or “fortified city.”
Alcalá la Real has a deep history that dates back to ancient times. Alcalá la Real is believed to be one of the places where the Neanderthal Men settled during the Paleolithic Era. Traces have also been found that date back to during the Bronze Age where pre-Roman tribes in Iberia had settled. However, structural remains were not evident until the coming of Romans and Arab conquerors and settlers. During the history, several peoples and tribes have conquered and settled in Alcalá la Real, including the Normans and Vikings, Goths and Christians, and the subsequent kingdoms of Castile and Granada of nearby areas.
The main attractions in Alcalá la Real are the Moor fortresses and towers, including the famous La Mota fortress. This includes the prison of Alcazaba, the walls and towers of Murallas, and a Roman Bridge. The town of Alcalá la Real is also full of Christian churches and convents with Romanesque and Moorish influence. Because of its long history and past, the feel of Alcalá la Real is that of an old town pastoral richness. The economy and agriculture still revolves around the production of cherries, olives, and oil. The town also lives with its livestock, shepherding goats and sheep in nearby areas.
The tourism of Alcalá la Real attracts tourists who want an old-age feel. There are several hostels in Alcalá la Real that look like the old houses of the town. Alcalá la Real hostels are cheap and accommodate tourists who want to reflect on the quiet and serene panorama of Alcalá la Real.
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