Alcalá del Júcar, Castilla-La Mancha

The medieval town of Alcalá del Júcar was a Moorish settlement built into the mountain. Its houses are carved into the rocks, and several built-in caves have the peculiar feature of being able to preserve a constant temperature year-round, a necessity in the hot summer Spanish days. The ruins of an Arab fortress, dating back from the 12th century, sit on top of the canyon, with well-preserved houses going up towards it. The ruins are another reminder of the Moorish past, just like the town’s name, Alcalá, which means ‘fortress’ in Arabic. The bullfighting arena has an irregular shape, unique in Spain, and is one of the oldest in the country. Some of the best views of this charming town are from across the neighboring river.

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