Lucena - History


Near Lucena, Cueva del Ángel has been discovered as an important pre-Neanderthal and Neanderthal Paleolithic settlement, dating to between 400,000 and 500,000 years ago. It was probably a permanent hominid residence for more than 300,000 years.

The Battle of Munda, in 45BC was part of part of the civil war between Julius Caesar and the Pompeians. It took place near the small Roman settlement of Munda. This settlement is thought by some historians to have been located near Lucena or Moriles. Other posible locations are Monda near Marbella, or possibly Osuna near Sevilla. 

During the Muslim era, it was the main nucleus of the Jewish population in Al-Andalus. In fact, Lucena was inhabited exclusively by Jews between the ninth and twelfth centuries.

Towards 1124, King Alfonso I of Aragon, knowing of the dissatisfaction of the numerous Christian-Mozarabic populations in the Muslim territories, travelled to Andalusia through Alcalá la Real, Luque, Baena, Écija, Cabra and Lucena. He defeated Abu Bakr, son of Emir Ali ibn Yusuf, in 1126 and, accompanied by numerous liberated Christian-Mozarabs. they returned to the Kingdom of Aragon. The Mozarabs of Al-Ándalus who did not flee to Aragon were harshly punished and mostly deported to North Africa. In 1148, Lucena was invaded by the Almohads in the face of their refusal to convert to Islam.

In 1240, Lucena was taken by Fernando III of Castile, who donated it to the Bishop and Cathedral of Córdoba, who in turn permuted it in 1342 to Doña Leonor de Guzmán, Alfonso XI's lover.  In 1483, the last King of Granada, Boabdil el Chico, was captured during the Battle of Lucena. He was imprisoned in one of the towers of the Castillo de Lucena (castle), in the Torre del Moral.

In 1618, Felipe III gave Lucena the title of city, and throughout the seventeenth century it became one of the most important towns in Andalusia. Later, Lucena was subject to the Seigniorial dominion of the Marquises of Comares, linked to the Duchy of Medinaceli since 1680.