Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jaén City, Jaén Province, Andalucía [Part I of III]

Thanks to the recent long weekend (2 public holidays this week!), I had a chance to travel down south to Andalucía again. This time, I did a half day stop-over in the city of Jaén (the capital of the Jaén province) before making my way further down to Granada for a couple of nights and then to Almería, the easternmost city of Andalucía.

Above: Mountain ranges forming the backdrop of the city.

While it may not be among the most well known provinces in the south of Spain, it does make a good stop-over destination for anyone travelling onwards to Granada. Jaén province is famous for having the largest plantation of olive groves in Spain and is known to be one of the world's biggest producer of olive oil (or liquid gold, as the locals would call it).

Also, two of the province's Renaissance towns (Baeza and Úbeda) are listed under UNESCO'S World Heritage list (check it out here) and Jaén has the largest remaining ancient Arab Baths in Spain (which can be found under the Villardompardo Palace, one of the important monuments in the city).

The moorish capital city of Jaén itself is nestled amidst a beautiful landscape of narrow & steep winding cobblestone streets surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges.

Above: A bird's eye view of the city with the mountains as its backdrop.

One of the city's most famous landmarks is the Cathedral of Jaén. Its construction spanned from the 16th to the 18th Century and it is built mostly in Renaissance style, with some Gothic and Baroque elements.

Above: The Cathedral of Jaén stands out magnificently in the heart of its historical district.

Above: A closer look at the main façade of the Cathedral. It is believed to house the relic of 'The Holy Face" on the veil of Veronica.

Above: The narrow steep streets of Jaén, as seen from an elevated point.

Another dominating monument of the city is the Castle of Santa Catalina, sitting on a strategic position on top of a hill. It was originally constructed by the Moors as a fortress before being taken over by King Ferdinand III in 1246 and it continued to survive under various civilisations throughout history. Today within its compound, not only is there a luxury hotel (Parador Castillo de Santa Catalina), the site is also being restored as a cultural monument where visitors can come explore the watch towers and enjoy panaromic views of the surrounding scenery.

Above & Below: The Castle of Santa Catalina, originally a Moorish fortress built during the Arab invasion, presides on a mountain overlooking the city.

Above & Below: The Cross of the Castle, accessible by an extended rocky path from the Castle.


  1. ohh it's so pretty. i wish i wasn't so busy and we could go travelling around together. let's go skiing when we're all back after christmas vacation?

  2. Glad you mentioned..I was thinking about that too! Yeah we shld definitely plan something. Let's meet when we're in SG and we'll talk more! :))


Related Posts with Thumbnails