Set in in northern Andalucia the city of Jaen, or ‘Geen’ as it was known to the Moors, meaning ‘way station of caravans’ has a rich history with fascinating monuments.
For example, the Moorish castle that sits atop Mount Santa Catalina which has now been converted into a Parador or the beautiful Cathedral built between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Every year the towns plazas are taken over by huge bonfires and festivities to celebrate the patron saint and protector of animals San Antonio Abad. Every year neighborhoods compete against each other as to who can build the biggest and most spectacular bonfire. It is here where the people also perform the traditional dance called ‘los melenchones’. Seasonal delicacies include pumpkin, sweet potatoes and popcorn.
There are some interesting churches to see in Jaen including La Santa Capilla de San Andres, the Church of La Magdalena, the Church of San Ildefonso, the Churches of San Bartolome and San Juan and also the convents of Las Bernardas and of Santo Domingo.
There is also the Museum of Jaen Province (Museo Provincial) which displays one of Spain’s leading collections of Iberian art.
Places of interest in Jaen
The Real Monasterio de Santa Clara
Founded in the 13th century. Features include a beautiful cloister dating from the late 16th century. The church contains a bamboo image of Christ made in Ecuador.
The Museo Provincial
Displays mosaics and sculptures by the Romans and ceramics by the Iberians, Greeks and Romans.
Known for its olive oil and its pottery. The 15-arch bridge spanning the Rio Guadalquivir was built by the Romans