Fortified city in the former province of La Mancha, in Castile. In 1146, when it was captured from the Moors by Alfonso VII., the latter made his favorite, Judah b. Joseph ibn Ezra ha-Nasi, governor of the city, just as Celorigo, when captured twenty-eight years later, was entrusted to the Jews (Joseph ha-Kohen, "'Emeḳ ha-Baka" [after Ibn Daud], p. 28; German transl. by M. Wiener, p. 161; "Boletin Acad. Hist." xiv. 267; J. Amador de los Rios, "Historia de los Judios de España," i. 331)
The Knights of the Order of Calatrava, called after this city—who received large estates and gifts from the kings of Castile and Aragon—and their grand masters had various relations with the Jewish communities and individual Jews. The city Maqueda was a fief of the order, and was the home of the scholarly Moses Arragel, with whom the grand master Luis de Guzman corresponded. In 1316 the grand master Garcia Lopez interceded for the Jewish community, by asking the king, Alfonso XI., to reduce the royal taxes. In 1304 the Order of Jaime II. of Aragon was granted the privilege of admitting thirty Jewish families into the city of Alcañiz, which belonged to the order. In recognition of the services rendered by the grand master and his knights to King Henry II. in his war against Don Pedro, the king presented the grand master and the order 500 and 1,000 maravedis, respectively, from the annual taxes of the Jews residing between Guadalferra (Guadalfeisa) and Puerto de Muladar and from those of the Jewish community of Villa Real. In 1310 the order sold a water-mill, called Batanejo, which became the property of Don Zulema (Salomon ibn Albagal) and his wife, Jamila, more correctly Joanila. The grand master Garcia Lopez also had negotiations with Abraham aben Xuxen (ben Susan) of Villa Real in regard to a water-mill.
- Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia, xxxv. 36, 45, 51, 126 et seq.;
- Rev. Et. Juives, xxxix. 313 et seq.;
- Luis Delgado Merchán, Historia Documentada de Villa Real, i. 269 et seq.