Doña Mencía, a white-washed village founded in 1415, was a source of inspiration for the writer Juan Valera. In the 13th century, Mencía López de Haro, wife of a captain of Ferdinand III, could not have imagined that she would provide a name for a whitewashed village surrounded by mountains. The inhabitants and customs of the village would later captivate the writer Juan Valera, to such an extent that they are immortalised in his works Juanita la Larga and Las Tentaciones del Doctor Faustino. With crooked, narrow streets, bearing suggestive names such as Bendición or Recodos, the village remains a “shady and delightful place”.
- This village is located in the southeast of the province, along the C-327 road.
- Distance from Córdoba: 71 km.
- Altitude: 590 m.
- Surface area: 15 km2.
- Population: 5001.
- Term used to designate inhabitants: Mencianos.
- Region: Subbética Cordobesa
Doña Mencia was founded in 1415 by the marshal of Castile, Diego Fernández de Córdoba, who had been granted the town of Baena and its municipal area, which included the territory on which the village was constructed. Diego obtained permission from the regent, Ferdinand I, to found a village and erect a fortress on the estate known as Doña Mencía (named in the 13th century by Álvaro Pérez de Castro, governor of the border province, in honour of his wife, Mencía López de Haro, having received these lands from Ferdinand III of Castile). In 1420 twenty inhabitants of Baena settled in the village and were exempted from taxes. Doña Mencía achieved independence as a municipality in 1653 and established a Town Hall, although local government remained under the control of the Counts of Cabra and Lords of Baena, as the village formed part of their estate.