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Carcelén is a village situated to the east of the province of Albacete, in the region of La Manchuela, on the border of the province of Valencia.There are two clearly differentiated geographical areas, with a sudden transition between the two.The northern part is taken up by a plain,anf it corresponds to the eastern border of the wide plain of the Manchuela, where crops for dry farming are grown.
To the south there is the area called muela del General or de Carcelén, with heights over 1.100 metres and covered by forest and scrub.
At the beginning, Carcelén was a hamlet belonging to Almansa, but in 1260 it was included in the bishopric of Cartagena. Later,Don Juan Manuel gave Carcelén to his son, Sancho. In the 14th century, the council of Jorquera tried to recover Carcelén, but on the 9th april of 1398, a royal mandate ordered the village to be returned to the Marquesado of Villena, granting it all its rights.
An aproximation to the historical background of this fact brings us to time when Don Juan Manuel, owner of the señorio de Villena, gave Carcelén to his natural son , Sancho Manuel, so that he would have the means to earn his living, and also so that he would help in the repopulation of those deserted lands.
Because of the confrontations for the succession of the Crown in Castilla, the members of Manuel´s family fell in disgrace and had to escape from Castilla, leaving their land without protection. This was the moment in which Jorquera, in a swift move, took Carcelén, which it had always considered as belonging to Jorquera.
After many years of litigations, on 9th april 1398, the last succesor of Sancho, his daughter Doña Constanza, obtained a royal order for the village to be returned to her. Jorquera had to obey the orders of Don Alfonso de Aragón, who was then the ownwer of the Marquesado de Villena, and Carcelén was given its legal and territorial rights.
The paper ( parchment) signed by the members of the council of Jorquera and in which the independence of Carcelén was recognized, was for a long time kept in the village archives, so the agreement would not be forgotten. The document was lost during the War of Succession. However, a copy made in the 18th century has been recovered.
Carcelén is mainly a farming community , the most widespread crops are olive and almond, followed by cereal.
In Carcelén we find the Church of Saint Andres Apóstol, reformed in the late 18th century and where images dating from the 12th and 13th centuries are kept.
The hermitage of Christ of the Eras is a barroque building from the 12th and 13th centuries which has a magnificent Crucificado ( image of Christ on the cross) from the 16th century as well as other valuable images.
The casle- fortress of Carcelén could have been built in the 15th century, although it has been reformed many times to reach its present state. Today the local library is situated in it.
One of the many valuable things that carcelén has to offer is the the wide network of springs and natural fountains that supply the village with water, and allow the traditional watering of orchards.
Carcelén also has a network of short distance walking paths that will allow you to discover its natural and cultural heritage.

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