Forgotten treasure of Andalucia. That’s what you may call Jaen when you consider it’s rich and fascinating history and very low tourist profile in southern Spain. Spanish Jaen is recommended for a cultural holidays, especially for those interested in the history of wars between the Moors and the Christians. It might be a good idea to combine the trip with a visit to the nearby Granada.
The top attraction of the city is the impressive 13thcentury Cathedral majestically towering over the medieval Old Town. The sheer size of the building and the awe-Inspiring architectural details inside are well worth a visit.
Located in Santa María Square, the cathedral is also a good starting point to explore the atmospheric narrow streets of Jaen’s old town and discover Renaissance palacios and churches.
One of the cobbled streets may take you to Palacio de Villardompardo in the old Moorish quarter, another must see attraction of Spanish Jaen. The palace boasts large Naive Museum, with free entrance, which houses more than 400 impressive paintings and sculptures. In the basement of the palace, toursits can wander around the well-preserved 11thcentury Arab Baths, the largest such complex in Europe. A visit to the top floor of the palace rewards vistors with a great panoramic views of Jaen.
Perched on top of the highest hill in Jaen and overlooking the city, is Saint Catalina’s Castle. This impressive stronghold offers some good “paradors” with absolutely breath-taking views. If the weather allows it, one can even clearly see the distant Sierra Morena. Built in the 8th century, the castle served the Moors first, then it was partially destroyed and rebuild by the Christians. Great informative guided tour of the castle is also available on top.