Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Alcázar de San Juan, Castilla La Mancha

Last Sunday, my day trippin' brought me to the town of Alcázar de San Juan in the province of Ciudad Real, Castilla La Mancha.

Alcázar de San Juan got its name from previously being an old Arab fortress (Alcázar) which was later taken over by the Knights of Saint John (San Juan in Spanish).

Not only is it a privileged town set along the wine trail of La Mancha, Alcázar de San Juan is also set in a "route of fantasy", serving as a background where much of the adventures of Spain’s most popular fictional character, Don Quixote de La Mancha took place.

It's obvious that this locality closely associates itself to the protagonists of the famed novel as well as to their creator Miguel de Cervantes, as one can see they are immortalised as statues and images all over the town. Some even say that this is the birthplace of the renowned author.

Above & below: Iconic sculptures of the fictional characters Don Quixote and his sidekick, Sancho Panza, located in the heart of the town facing Plaza de España.

Above: The Municipal Market at Plaza de España.

Above: The neo-classical style Town Council or Ayuntamiento of Alcázar de San Juan.

Above: Iglesia de Santa Quitéria.

Above & Below: Buildings around Plaza Santa Quitéria.

Above: A mother and child stone statue monument titled ‘Cántico a la Maternidad’ located at Plaza de Santa Maria.

Above: The statue of Miguel de Cervantes stands outside the Tower of the Grand Prior - Torreón de Don Juan de Austria.

Above: Iglesia de Santa Maria La Mayor, the oldest church in Alcázar, believed to be built over an old mosque.

Alcázar de San Juan is also famous for some of its festivals.

One being the festival of Moors & Christians which is celebrated in conjunction with the Night of San Juan on 24 June, the other being the Carnival, which is celebrated in December between Christmas & New Year's eve, and declared as a Regional Tourist Interest.

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