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Alcala la Real

4.3
Castles · Specialty Museums · History Museums
Alcalá la Real is a city in the province of Jaén, Spain. According to the 2006 census (INE), the city has a population of 22,129 inhabitants.GeographyAlcalá la Real is from the provincial capital, Jaén, and from Granada, on the slopes of La Mota, a hill in the Sierra Magina. This is commanded by a large Moor fortress around which, until some centuries ago, the settlement revolved.It is connected to the Guadalquivir valley by the Guadajoz affluent.HistoryRemains from the Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age show the human presence in the area in Prehistoric times. It has been hypothesized that this was one of the last places inhabited by Neanderthal Man. Despite the presence of remains from the Iberians, dating to the late Bronze Age, the first traces of urban structures (perhaps identifiable with the ancient Sucaelo) date to the Roman times. Archaeological findings include a marble statue of Hercules, now in the National Archaeological Museum of Spain at Madrid.After the Muslim conquest in 713, the town was renamed Qal'at (قلعة), an Arabic term meaning "fortified city". In the following centuries, Umayyad caliph Al-Hakam II (971–976) had a series of watchtowers built to defend the city from the Viking/Norman incursions; today 12 of the 15 original towers remain. Around the year 1000 the main of these tower, the Mota, became a true fortress, one of the mainstays of the Al-Andalus defence against the Christian Reconquista.
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