Villanueva de la Jara, Cuenca province!

So let’s take you back into the countryside of my beloved Spain. Yes ,I know most go to the big cities and some ventures into the popular following places, but Spain is everything under the Sun! On a sunny cool day in my neck of the woods of Morbihan at 11C or about 54F cloudy, and 8C or about 45F foggy in Paris, I like to take you a bit back in time to my lovely Cuenca province.

I have driven and visited and whats not, all over this fabolous region of Castilla La Mancha, and had great memories of it while with my dear late wife Martine and the boys. Many strong souvenirs that will not fade away with time, I promise. Let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful nice country town of Villanueva de la Jara.

Villanueva de la Jara, or commonly called La Jara, is a town in the province of Cuenca, in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha. It belongs to the municipality of Manchuela. It borders of the   Valdemembra river . Besides the main nucleus itself it also comprises the nuclei of houses of Santa Cruz and Ribera de San Benito as villages. It is known for the cultivation of mushrooms which is the main economic activity of the area, as well as different edible fungi.

 Villanueva de la Jara is well connected as it passes through the town the N-320 that goes from Cuenca to Albacete and the N-310 that goes from Villanueva de la Jara to Manzanares, and is 13 kilometers from the. A3 expressway that connects to Madrid and Valencia. All these roads taken several times by yours truly.  By its municipal space, also passes the AVE Madrid-Cuenca-Albacete-Levante.Not taken.

This is a historical town, going back to prehistoric times. However, it is call Villanueva or new town because in 1476 sided with the Queen Isabel I of Castille (The Catholic Queen) in her fight in the war of Succession to the throne she contested with Juana la Beltraneja. She ,Isabel I won, and for allegiance gave the title of City, and built a college of latin ,the first one in the province of Cuenca.

In the Spanish Civil War, it was one of the bases of the leftist Republican Army and of the International Brigades. In Villanueva de la Jara were George Orwell, Willy Brandt and Josip Broz Tito among many others, within the International Brigades, the Comitern and the Lincoln Brigade. On the outskirts of town are some bunkers of what was an aerodrome in wartime.

However, the main thing you should take a detour and visit this town is the Church or Basilica of the Assomption.

The Church or Iglesia Parroquial de la Asuncion holds the title of Basilica . In town it is at Calle Jesùs Casanova s/n. This Church was built with the stones of the old arab castle in the 15C.  Built in ashlar stone, it has a polygonal apse and high-rise buttresses. Built in ashlar stone, it has a polygonal apse and high-rise buttresses.  The high Altar has a beautiful retable on three bodies of golden wood.  You can tell the fortified nature of it from its walled ramparts of arab origin and rebuilt as a wall in the 16C. You see next to it, three slabs with circular towers all that is left of the castle of Villanueva. It was very nice inside with the best Chapels such as Capilla  la de la Inmaculada Concepción, altar style from the gothic to the renaissance, Capilla de la Virgen del Rosario, nice dome, and the Capilla de la Virgen del Pilar, with a retable of the 16C.  Among the works of art that preserves, highlights, in the first chapel of the Epistle, the altarpiece of Saint Martin, outstanding sample of Spanish-Flemish painting. The chapter house features a neoclassical baptismal font.

villanueva de la jara

villanueva de la jara

villanueva de la jara

villanueva de la jara

villanueva de la jara

Bit more on it here in Spanish:  Tourist office of Cuenca on Church Our Lady of the Assomption

City of Villanueva de la Jara on heritage

And I found  nice video on it in youtube that is worth mentioning here as it is truly nice the Church.

 

There you go another dandy on the roads of Don Quijote in my dream beloved Spain, traditions to hold on to for life. Hope you enjoy it

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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5 Comments to “Villanueva de la Jara, Cuenca province!”

  1. Fascinating history. I didn’t know about George Orwell having spent time there with La Internacional. It always amazes me how Arabic/Muslim buildings are turned into Catholic places of worship. When we visited La Mezquita in Córdoba, we both agreed we preferred the simpler Muslim art form to the over-the-top flamboyant Catholic additions.

    Liked by 1 person

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