The Royal Patronage Abbey

The Alcalá la Real Abbey, which survived for five centuries since its foundation in 1341 by Alfonso XI until the Concordat in 1851, was a secular Abbey. In other words, it was used by secular priests rather than monks. This Secular Abbey of royal patronage was created by the political genius, King Alfonso XI, conqueror of the important Alcalá de Benzayde fortress, which he himself christened as La Real. It was “nullius”, or in other words, supreme and totally exempt from all dioceses with the exception of that of Toledo, and the naming of the Abbots solely depended upon the Crown, without the need for papal bull. The territory, together with that of Alcalá, was composed of the populations and boroughs of Castillo de Locubín, Priego and Carabuey which were conquered by the same King, just as was Alcalá de Benzayde in the campaign following the famous victory of Salado, known as Gesta de Alcalá, which occurred between the autumn of 1340 and the summer of 1341.

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