Andalucia´s northeast province of Jaen is full of picturesque countryside, scattered with beautiful towns containing splendid examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture. The beautiful and historic provincial city of Jaen, once a compulsory stopover for caravans travelling between Andalucia and Castile, has a wealth of history and architecture.
Jaen city lies on the Linres-Puente Genil railway, 500 metres above the sea with a population of 35,000. The city is situated on the wooded northern slopes of the Jabalcuz Mountains, overlooking the spectacular valleys of the Jaen and Guadalbullon rivers, which flow north into the Guadalquivir. The hillside upon which the narrow and irregular city streets rise in terraces is fortified with Moorish walls and a Moorish citadel. Jaen is an episcopal see and houses many churches and convents, a library, art galleries, theatres, barracks and hospitals. Previously renowned for its silk manufacture, Jaen now produces leather, soap, alcohol and linen. Three kilometres to the south of the city there are hot therapeutic mineral springs in the mountains.
The Castillo de Santa Catalina – erected by Ferdinand III in 1246, over the site of a previous Moorish stronghold.
The 16th century Cathedral – founded in 1532 and remaining unfinished until late in the 18th century. Its main characteristics are from the Renaissance period.
The Arab Baths – probably the best preserved in Spain, discovered in 1913 and declared a national monument in 1917.