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Villanueva de los Infantes

Ciudad Real

Audioguide of Villanueva de los Infantes

What to see in Villanueva de los Infantes

You might have seen a portrait of Quevedo in which the satirist appears with the Cross of St. James on his chest clearly visible. Well, that cross was not just any distinction, and we are telling you this for two reasons: because in Villanueva de los Infantes you will see that sign many times, and because Francisco de Quevedo died here, in a cell of the convent of the Dominicans.

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You might have seen a portrait of Quevedo in which the satirist appears with the Cross of St. James on his chest clearly visible. Well, that cross was not just any distinction, and we are telling you this for two reasons: because in Villanueva de los Infantes you will see that sign many times, and because Francisco de Quevedo died here, in a cell of the convent of the Dominicans.

But let’s go back a little further in time and see where this village comes from, full of churches, hermitages, coats of arms, stone porches and surprising nooks and crannies.

At the time when the Christians repopulated La Mancha, back in the thirteenth century, there was a village called Jamila under the rule of The Order of Santiago. But it seems that the atmosphere was not very healthy, so encouraged by a big fire, people moved to a better place, known as La Moraleja. The new town grew and grew, and in 1421 achieved the independence of Montiel and its own jurisdiction. As Don Enrique, Infante of Aragón and grand master of the Order of Santiago had a lot to do with it, the village was renamed, Villanueva del Infante. But some time later, due to vain matters among the influential people, the name was changed to Villanueva de los Infantes so that no one would get angry.

The place continued to prosper and would become the cultural and intellectual focal point of the La Mancha region. And we are not talking about just any era, no, but the Spanish Golden Age. Among the fabulous festivities, bullfighting, and lively theatrical plays, the noble Villanueva was full of famous characters like Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo as mentioned earlier and other humanists and intellectuals of the time.

All these names join the illustrious architectural set you can see here today while you have a stroll around. The beautiful Plaza Mayor, the façades loaded with aristocratic coats of arms and a large number of splendid religious buildings are not deceptive: here there is a very serious Renaissance and Baroque past, and if you walk through it calmly you will come across places and names such as the Casa del Caballero del Verde Gabán, which appears in a chapter of Don Quixote.

That skinny and a bit looper knight could also have had his connection with Villanueva de los Infantes. Some scholars maintain that the “place in La Mancha,” of which the famous novel refers, could be precisely this one, of whose name I don’t want to recall …


Villanueva de los Infantes

Calle Cervantes, 16 (Oficina de Turismo)
13320 Villanueva de los Infantes
(+34) 926 36 13 21

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