Archive for the Andújar Category

Jaen Province – Andújar – Places to Eat and Swim

Posted in Andalusia, Andújar, Jaen Province, Spain with tags , , , , on December 4, 2015 by gannet39

I found it pretty hard to eat well here unfortunately. There are plenty of tapas bars selling good honest fare in the centre but all the (supposedly) better quality places seemed to be closed or out of town, either in the countryside around or off the motorway, so you’d really need a car to get to them.

I did find a couple of places that were okay though. You can find them on this Google map, along with several places I didn’t get to.

Cayetano (Intermediate B+), 10 Calle Corredera San Bartolomé

A bit of a trek from the hotel (about thirty minutes’ walk) but worth it for the huge salads they serve (B+). The one in the picture was a half portion believe it or not and it only cost €4.50.


The region is famous for its game dishes so I decided to try Carne de Monte which is deer meat slow cooked with oregano I think. I’m not usually a fan of venison but this was pretty tasty (B+).


I came back one evening and had their intriguing Berenjenas con Salmorejo, deep fried slices of aubergine with the thick bread soup and diced ham on top, but sadly I wasn’t impressed (C). Perhaps the day time chef is better.


Los Naranjos (Intermediate B), 4 Calle Guadalupe (an alley off the west side of Plaza de la Constitucion)

‘The Orange Trees’ was recommended by one of the local teachers. It’s a plain and simple place that basically one large room with some tables outside in the alley. The waiters are super-efficient and the food is decent. I had Gambas al Ajillo (B) and a huge plate of codfish croquetas (B).


El Mercao (Intermediate B), Plaza de la Constitucion

A popular bar off the main square. I had a decent menu del dia here which included the famous Flamequin, involving deep fried ham and cheese (B).


I also went to La Columna, a cafe bar at 15 Calle Emperador Trajano, It was very busy with lots of locals but I don’t remember being impressed by the food (C) even if I don’t remember what I had. It was very cheap though.

There are of course lots of other tapas bars around town. Bar Rincon Andaluz at 4 Calle Hoyo seems very popular although their specialty is snails which I don’t get on with anymore.

I think it must have been snail season as just about every bar was selling them and literally everyone seemed to be eating them.

The municipal sports centre, the Polideportivo Municipal de Andújar at Calle Egido del Puente, has a large outdoor pool which would be very welcome in the summer heat if you have a day off. It was closed when I was there in April, despite the weather being quite warm, because it wasn’t officially summer as yet. Red tape, don’t you just love it.


Jaen Province – Andújar – Stuff to See

Posted in Andalusia, Andújar, Jaen Province, Spain with tags , , , , , , on December 3, 2015 by gannet39

Andújar is a historical town of about 40,000 in the province of Jaen, about forty minutes on the train from the regional capital.


First impressions were not good as work put me up at the unremarkable Hotel del Val on a retail park about twenty minutes’ walk from the old centre, but I don’t mind a bit of a walk so that was ok.


Most of the town is new build although it has retained the original Medieval street plan in the centre. The maze of streets take a bit of getting used to.


Here’s my Google map to help you.

There are some old buildings still standing though. Some of the walls of the original Almohad (Moorish) citadel and the odd watchtower still remain. This one was refaced in the fifteenth century to include the city’s coat of arms.

The heart of the town is Plaza de Espania, and its extension Plaza Constitucion, which are separated by this arch.


Here you’ll find the Ayuntemiento (town hall) and the Iglesia de San Miguel with its sturdy tower.


The worn stone carvings on the ancient doorway of the church depict some interesting figures.


Next to the church is a memorial to a local priest martyred in the sixteenth century and the Fuente Barroca, a baroque fountain (built in 1739) that’s seen better days.

A couple of streets away is Iglesia Santa Maria la Major which houses an original El Greco, although it was never open when I walked by.


Next to it is the Torre de Reloj, a clock tower which is a symbol of the city.


On one side of the tower is an impressive imperial shield, which incorporates the coats of arms of the Trastámara and the Habsburgs on the right, and the Avis, the lineages of Emperor Charles V and his wife Isabel of Portugal, on the left. A stone sundial sits next to the shield.


Currently, the tower houses the Tourist Information Office of Andujar. The tower houses the tourist information on the ground floor (open 9.00 to 14.00 Tuesday to Saturday, and also 16.30 to 19.00 Tuesday to Friday).


On the other side of Iglesia Santa Maria is this Neogothic chapel, built in 1925.


Also of interest is the Palacio de los Ninos with its unusual statues of two South American Indians on its front aspect.


The Archaeology museum is located in the cellar which is supposed to be very impressive (open 9.00 to 14.00 Tuesday to Friday, and also 12.30 to 19.00 Saturday to Sunday), although again I wasn’t free at the right time to go.

Various other old town houses are dotted around with their impressive thick wooden doors.



On the front wall of Palacio de los Perez de Vargas y Gormaz (aka La Casa de las Argollas) you can see four iron rings with little heads wearing hats. The tourist blurb said that these were put up after the Esqilache Uprising when Spaniards rose up against one of the king’s ministers who had decreed that long capes and broad brimmed hats were to be forbidden as they were associated with criminality, a bit like our modern day hoodies.

The town was celebrating the Pilgrimage of the Virgen de la Cabeza, which is held on the last Sunday of the month of April. Horses are decorated and displayed in the town centre.

The image of the Virgin is displayed everywhere.


Please see the next post for places to eat.

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