If you have a day or two to explore Jaen you have a number of options. The more exercise minded might want to make an assault on the castle for which I’ve written a separate post. A less strenuous alternative is to wander around the old town but you’ll still have to walk up half the hill to get there. With the latter option you could take in one or two museums along the way, also in a separate post. Here’s the rest…
Jaen is very famous for its Renaissance cathedral www.catedraldejaen.org. Like most other cathedrals in the south of Spain, the Catedral de Jaén was built on the site of the ancient mosque.
Personally I find it quite ugly except for some of the frescoes on the façade on Plaza de Santa María, the cathedral square, which have some interesting details. You can click on the following images to see them in more detail.
The streets to the south of the square plunge sharply giving you fleeting views of the tree covered hills in in the distance.
Heading north west from the square you could take in the Arco de San Lorenzo www.turjaen.org on Calle Almendros Aguilar. The arch is all that remains of the old San Lorenzo church. The Gothic-Mudejar interior can be viewed on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, at 11.00 and 13.00, as part of a free guided tour which you can book at the Tourist Office at Calle Maestra (minimum five people).
Further north is Barrio de Santa Cruz, the location of La Judería which was the medieval Jewish ghetto es.wikipedia.org. The main streets are Callejón del Gato, Calle del Rostro, Calle Santa Cruz and Calle de los Huérfanos.
There’s not a lot to see in terms of physical sights but wandering around the narrow streets quite atmospheric, especially when you imagine its time as a walled ghetto. The ghetto was a means of protecting Jewish customs and also as a defence against possible attack from enemies.
At the end of Calle de los Huérfanos is a small square called Plaza de los Huérfanos which was the location of one of the two gates into the ghetto, the Puerta Baeza. There are various plaques and installations here that commemorate the presence of the Jewish community in Jaen for over twelve centuries.
On the edge of La Judería is the Fuente De Los Caños, a public fountain dating from 1569.
From here head a little further north to Palacio de Villardompardo where you can see the Baños Arabes www.bañosarabesjaen.es in the cellar (see my separate post on museums).
In terms of more recent architecture, there are a few nice buildings around…
The first building on Calle Maestra, the main street leading off the cathedral square, is this quirky little place on the corner. It was renovated in 2015 so I’m looking forward to having a nosey inside.
Another nice house I’ve seen backs onto Plaza del Pósito and has its front door on Calle Bernabé Soriano.
This nice building is at 18 Calle Bernabé Soriano.
This post is a work in progress so I’ll be adding to it on my next trip. Museums next!