Peal de Becerro

Peal de Becerro

by Saskia Mier

Peal de Becerro Part is situated within the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y las Villas Natural Park. Populated over the centuries, it preserves remains from the Copper, Bronze, Iberian, Roman and Medieval ages. The Toya burial chamber is the best example of a chamber tomb in the town’s ancient history and was declared a Historical Monument in 1918. It has about 5400 inhabitants.


Since the Bronze Age (II millennium BC) several settlements have been documented in the municipality of Peal, such as Cueva del Águila, Villares de la Bolera or Castellones de la Bolera, which, according to material evidence, must have been walled enclosures. In the third century BC, Ptolemy made a list of cities belonging to Oretania among which he mentions Tugia, in Toya, near Peal de Becerro. At this point one of the best-known Iberian ensembles was found, the Toya Sepulchral Chamber. The excellent and complex construction of this tomb shows the development that the oligarchy reached in the Iberian era. More>


Torre del Reloj
Two towers stand out in the heart of the urban nucleus that were part of a medieval fortress that was attached to Quesada. In 1361, the two towers were looted and set on fire during a raid by Arab troops from the Kingdom of Granada. This clock tower, built at the end of the fourteenth century, is about twelve meters high. It sits on a stone plinth, its masonry is not completely regular. Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1985. Located on Calle de Josefa Santa María.

Torre Mocha
The Mocha tower, also originating from a medieval castle, is less elegant than the Torre Reloj. It measures about seven meters on each side, is made of concerted masonry in one of its parts, has its corners reinforced with rope and brand and is finished off with corner posts. Its construction must have been carried out between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and over time small houses were attached to it that distorted its image. In 1987, the Cultural Department of the Junta de Andalucía, given its state of advanced deterioration, carried out a restoration directed by the architect, Luis Carlos Gutiérrez Calatrava. The works including the consolidation of vaults and roof construction for the removal of water, repair of exterior and interior enclosures, replacement of parts and exterior carpentry and conditioning of the exterior and access areas. Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1985. Located on Calle de Josefa Santa María.

The Torre Mocha and the Torre del Reloj make up a singular urban space in Plaza Cronista Cazabán, complemented by an Auditorium for cultural and recreational activities in the open air, designed by Isicio Ruiz Albusac.

Iglesia de la Encarnación
The church was built on the foundations of a much older religious site in 1969, with the project drawn up and directed by Francisco Gutiérrez de Cabiedes. The floor is terrazzo, the altar is granite, the tower is constructed of exposed brick and there is a significant presence of wood in the roof, whilst a large cross presides over the main façade. Located on Calle Poeta Miguel Hernandez.

Centro de Interpretación de las Tumbas Principescas de Toya y Hornos
The centre provides insight into the subject of life beyond the grave and the funerary rites of the Iberian world. The Toya Chamber and the Hornos Hypogeum show what a princely burial chamber is like and its meaning in the context of Iberian aristocratic society. Also, thanks to the excavation of the Hypogeum of Hornos, it is possible to know the evolution of the princely burials. Located on Calle Josefa Santa Maria.

Opening Times:
Summer, Friday, 18:00-21:00hrs
Summer, Saturday, 10:30-13:30hrs and 18:00-21:00hrs 
Summer, Sunday, from 10:30-13:30hrs
Winter, Friday, 16:30-19:30hrs 
Winter, Saturday, 10:30-13:30hrs and 16:30-19:30hrs
Winter, Sunday, 10:30-13:30hrs

General admission (full visit): €3.50 
General admission (Interpretation Center only): €2.00 
General admission (Toya Sepulchral Chamber only): €1.50 
The price of the complete visit for children under 15 and over 65 will be €2.50
Tel: 636 29 15 93

Things to see outside the town

Cámara de Toya
The best example of Iberian funerary architecture is the Cámara de Toya, a chamber which was discovered in the early years of the twentieth century by “El Pernazas” while doing agricultural work and studied by Juan Cabré. Its chronology includes the Iberian culture of the late fifth and early fourth centuries BC. Its architectural structure has a quadrangular plan and its interior is divided into three longitudinal naves, the central one of which has the only access door to the west of the construction. The Toya burial chamber had rectangular niches carved into the stones of the walls. The doors are generally rectangular openings but the two that connect the three naves show a very particular characteristic of the Iberian construction. The trousseau of the chamber is characteristic of an Iberian Prince and his family, and of which the wheels of a warrior chariot and the magnificent Attic kraters attributed to the Toya Painter. Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest since 1918. Located south west of the town, off the JV-3263.

Castillo de Toya
The castle of Toya stands on a hill with very steep slopes near the town of Toya, near to the Ermita de San Marcos. Peal de Becerro does not appear mentioned in the medieval Muslim chronicles, so in this period it must not have been a small population dependent on the fortified center of Toya. The first mention of the Toya castle was made by the Arab geographer, Al-Idrisi, naming it as Hisn Tuya, which depended on Cazorla. According to Christian chronicles, in the year, 1224, it was devastated by Fernando III El Santo. It was after the Castilian conquest that Peal became an entity as a population centre. The Castilians reinforced their defences. In 1993, the Junta de Andalucía granted special recognition to the castles of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1985. Located about 5km south west of the town.

Iglesia de Hornos
The church of the village of Hornos belonging to the municipality of Peal de Becerrro is owned by the Bishopric of Jaén. It presents a good state of conservation being built at the beginning of the twentieth century, being demolished years later. Through the initiative and patronage of the Marqueses de las Claras, it was rebuilt in the 1954.

Ermita de San Marcos
The chapel belongs to the Bishopric of Jaén and its state of conservation is good. It underwent a reform in the last third of the twentieth century, and in terms of its dating, there have been reports of it since the second half of the nineteenth century. Located south west of the town, off the JV-3263.


Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas 
With a total surface area of 209,920Ha and covering almost a fifth of Jaén province, this is Spain’s largest protected area and one of its most extensive forested zones. Located in eastern Jaen province, it connects the Sierra Morena and the Subbética mountain ranges. The highest peak in this immense park is Pico Empanada at 2,107m and the entire park is higher than 600m.

Recognising its exceptional ecological importance, it was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1983 and it was deemed a natural park in 1989. First impressions of the park may consist of barren rocky crests and vast pine forests, but the area’s botanical importance within Andalusia is matched only by the Sierra Nevada, with a fifth of the vascular plants in the Iberian peninsula being found in the Sierra de Cazorla Natural Park. It is also home to 51 species of mammals, 185 birds, 21 reptiles (including an endemic lizard), 12 amphibians, 11 fish and one of the highest number of butterfly species in the Iberian peninsula, with 112 varieties found here.

Countryside Walks

Its great landscape allows visitors to enjoy innumerable corners full of life, ideal for walking. 

There are a number of hiking routes available to explore:
Paraje Natural del Alto Guadalquivir-Puente de la Cerrada
The route is approximately 21,5km and considered an easy route that can be done either walking or with a bike.

Senda de las Pescadores
20km route. Medium level.

Ladera del Calar de Juana
10-11km route. Medium level.


Crafts in Peal de Becerro have traditionally been limited to esparto grass. At present, esparto grass is still being worked and collected, although its preferred use is in the field of construction, since it is used to assemble and hold the plaster. 


Visitors to Peal de Becerro can try traditional dishes such as gachamiga (similar to polenta, served with chorizo, bacon, fried peppers or melon), ajoharina (gachas served with anchovies and clams), rin-ran (mashed potato with pepper and cod) and talarines (pasta stew served with wild hare, partridge or wild ceps). Sweet treats include tortitas de San Antón (doughnuts) and mostachones (sponge cake). 

Bus Service

There is a bus service from Peal de Becerro to Jaén. More>


Popular festivals in Peal de Becerro are Candelaria, Festividad de San Antón, Romería de San Marcos, Fiestas de Nuetsra Señora de la Encarnación, Feria and Festival Iberojoven. More>


The weather forecast for the next few days for Peal de Becerro. More>


The tourist office of Peal de Becerro is located in the Town Hall. More>


The neighbouring villages to Peal de Becerro are Cazorla and Quesada.