The Fortress of La Mota – Jaén



Do you know the wonderful Fortress of La Mota in Alcalá la Real, Jaén?


Few places are so unknown and yet so full of history, as surprising and as large as the Fortaleza de la Mota.

I’ve always thought it was a castle on top of a hill, but I could not be more wrong.

La Mota was a medieval city perfectly fortified and defended.

He met two epochs of great splendor, first in the Almohad period, and then in the sixteenth century.

It presents three lines of defensive walls in a total of 14 hectares, of which, 5 hectares have been put in value.

It has many similarities with the palatine city of the Alhambra in Granada, because both perimeters are perfectly defended thanks to its walls and towers.

And, neither of them were ever attacked, besides having houses, shops, industries and wonderful cisterns, which they made them impregnable.

This medieval city of the Fortress of La Mota occupies a strategic area for its high defensive position, and for the wealth of water.

Since they have found in its interior, many remains of pipelines, wells, cisterns and a wonderful snowfield that was exploited exclusive for the abbot.

In fact, its siege on Christian hands was delayed more than 9 months, during which the Christians poisoned two of its cisterns.

But the city still could not be conquered, until they found their Achilles heel: the great well that supplied of water to the city, that after poisoning it, fell into Christian hands in 1371 with the reign of Alfonso XI.


A complete city, with its houses and markets, a city that remained alive until the eighteenth century, a city located on the border, a city that lived on marketing and whose product given in exclusivity by royal privilege, was wine.

A wine that was sold in the Alhambra, in the Door that bears this name, the Puerta del Vino.

A wine of the highest quality from Alcalá la Real, a wine that was exempt from paying taxes at the border, a great privilege granted by the Catholic Monarchs and by Carlos V to Alcalá.

He came and nothing but wine, because there are innumerable wineries in the city of La Mota.

And innumerable pots and bowls in clay that only preserved this merchandise precisely, the wine, neither oil nor other products have been found.

Large blocks of stone surround the complex, massive, compact, giving a colossal and impassable appearance, with a wise interior infrastructure, compartmentalized with streets, access doors and defensive towers.


The most noble area, where the palace of the Abbot was located, preserves its abbey church, a beauty that rises before our eyes, wonderful on the outside, and inside, the wonderful crypt, full of funerary tombs.

A city that knew no epidemics, a city that in its great moments housed 5,000 people.

And, a city divided into terraces, where wealth was wine, despite the Muslim prohibition of consuming alcohol.

A city, worthy of being visited and explained by our official guides, contact us and we will reveal to you many of its secrets.


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