Villanueva de la Jara, in the Province of Cuenca!!!

And moving right along trying to update, revise with new links and or pictures I came across this one. Oh well, I have written posts before on Villanueva de la Jara but left out some interesting buildings I like to point out now.  The tour of these old post needless to say has been a wonderful tour for me and hope for you too. I thank you for reading me over these last 10 years!

It was a long road warrior day thru the province of Cuenca in the region of Castilla de la Mancha. We went south of Cuenca on national and local regional roads into the vast lands of Don Quijote, searching his dreams! We stop at Villanueva de la Jara.  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.

Villanueva de la Jara,  belongs to the area of La Manchuela. It borders of the  Valdemembra river . Besides the main nucleus itself it also comprises the nuclei 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. The town is well connected as it passes through the center the N-320  road that goes from Cuenca to Albacete and the N-310 that goes from Villanueva de la Jara to Manzanares, and is 13 km from the. A3 expressway that connects to Madrid and Valencia. All these roads taken several times by yours truly!

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.

The Church or Iglesia del Carmen was previously a monks’s convent of the Carmelites that keeps the image of the Virgen de las Nieves (Virgin of the snow) the town patron Saint. The comes from the cloister of the Convent of the same name that began to be built when the Carmelite friars arrived from the nearby Desierto del Socorro, in La Roda, thanks to the efforts carried out by Santa Teresa de Jésus.


The church is an a Latin cross, with three naves, the main one and the lateral ones destined to shelter the devotional chapels, connected by a corridor. The central orange color dome with four medallions on the pendentives with saints of the Order, among them the great reformers: San Juan de la Cruz and Santa Teresa de Jesús. Notable in the center of the main altarpiece is the Gothic image of the Patron Saint of the town, the Virgen de las Nieves is seated, in a chair without arms. It is a round sculpture carved in wood, stuccoed, polychrome and gilded. There still inconclusive evidence but claims that the hermit Catalina de Cardona is buried here.


You walked along the wonderful Calle Santa Ana and later take Calle Madrigal to reach the Church of the Convent of Carmen (see post on the convent part). This began to rise in 1587, after the arrival of the friars. Its construction was paid for thanks to the assets of the Socorro convent. Currently, only the church remains standing, as the rest of the complex disappeared after the confiscations of the 19C. The architecture of the building is typically Carmelite, taking as a prototype the monastery of the Incarnation of Madrid . It has a large facade without ornamentation, except for the shields and the title image. Its structure is developed in three bodies: the lower one for access, the middle one for lighting, and the upper one a triangular shaped tympanum with an oculus.

We went a bit inside as service was rendered but did saw the Main Altar and the image of the Virgen de las Nieves, patron saint of Villanueva de la Jara. The presbytery is decorated with a baroque-style golden altarpiece and the central dome is ornamented with paintings that simulate nobler materials and forms with classic Carmelite iconography. The image of the Virgen de las Nieves 14C in Gothic style, this sculpture of round bulk carved in stuccoed, polychrome and gilded wood, represents the patron sitting in a chair, without arms, with the child also sitting on her following the medieval model of the throne of wisdom. The image presents, in her right hand, an apple, in turn, the child supports in his left hand the globe crowned with a Cross.


Of course, you can see my other posts on Villanueva de la Jara, a nice town to visit for the day and it gave us a glimpse of the real Castilian life in the Province of Cuenca, region of Castilla La Mancha. Memories that will lingered forever in our minds.

Some of the other things to see here in my opinion are the architecture facade of the house villa Enriqueta in the Plaza Mayor. Built in 1899, according to the inscription on its façade, it was ordered to be built by Jesús Casanova for use as a private home. During the Spanish Civil War it was used as a military hospital and is currently owned by several families. It is a very striking building in which elements of Mudejar,Renaissance and Modernist art are mixed. It is built in brick of two colors forming floral motifs on its facade.


Around the Plaza Mayor , main square;a wonderful square as is the norm in Spain has several historic buildings of the town. The first one we visit is the Posada Massó 16C, a Renaissance-style building ; its layout is attributed to the Italian architect Andrea Rodi. The property has two floors on the façade of which we can see its semicircular arches separated by Doric columns. Next to the City/Town Hall stands the Torre del Reloj or Clock Tower, with three floors, in turn attached to the late medieval building that was formerly the rooms of the Council, the Royal Prison and the offices of the Pósito.


A webpage on the footpaths of Santa Teresa de Jésus includes Villanueva de la Jara

La Manchuela area on Villanueva de la Jara:

The city of Villanueva de la Jara on its history in Spanish :

The Castilla La Mancha tourist board on Villanueva de la Jara

There you go folks, a wonderful deep town in the wonderful province of Cuenca, this is historical Villanueva de la Jara. Hope you enjoy the tour.

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

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: