Spectacular castle La Mota in Alcalá la Real

A genuine Andalusí town once stood on this strategic hill, complete with a great mosque, citadel, residential area and a market. The remains of these have been uncovered in archaeological excavations and make a very interesting part of your visit to the castle of La Mota in Alcalá la Real.

The name Alcalá comes from the Arabic Qal’at meaning fortified town. In the 8th century a military post was installed in the town by the Banu clan, a tribe originally from Yemen. Alfonso XI conquered Alcalá in 1341 and added the royal (la Real) part to its name. From then, until the conquest of Granada in 1492, Alcalá la Real was on the border of Christian and Moorish territory. Many watch towers in the area bear witness to this bloody page in the history of the area.

The castle has been beautifully restored and the extensive and nicely presented excavation sites make it a mysterious sort of place. Most eerie of all is the church which has a glass floor, over the open graves that were once below its floor.