Jaen City - Things to see

Sunrise at the Santa Catalina Castle, Mirador in Jaen. © Michelle Chaplow
Sunrise at the Santa Catalina Castle, Mirador in Jaen.

Things to see in Jaen

Santa Catalina Castle is a good place to start. Especially if you are driving. From the motorway, it’s easy to find your way up the hill to the castle. Simply follow the signs and find parking at the top. There’s a Parador hotel, with a restaurant, The Castle has easy to follow tour and atop the castle to enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountain ranges.  

The Jaen Cathedral is an example of rennaisance architecture. It is a magnificent edifice both inside and out – definitely worth a visit.

Standing above the city like an everlasting defender, the castle itself or Alcázar Nuevo is a walled, almost triangular enclosure defended by six towers. Inside, there is a  Tourist Information… More →

Like most Andalusian cathedrals, the primitive cathedral of Jaén was created from a  former Muslim mosque. In the year 1492,  under the Bishopric of Don Luis de Osorio, work on a new church began… More →

The International Museum of Naive Art, also known as the International Museum of Naive Art “Manuel Moral”, is an art gallery situated in the left wing of the Villardompardo Palace. The collection… More →

The house was acquired by Don Miguel Lucas de Iranzo and became his place of residence in 1462.  He carried out extensive works that completely transformed it into a  sumptuous Mudejar palace… More →

The Arab Baths known as, Hamman al-Walad (‘Bath of the Child’ in Arabic), are located in the basements of the Villardompardo Palace. They have a surface area of 450m², and are probably the largest… More →

The large hospital was built in the fifteen century thanks to private donations and the patronage of the Municipal Council, the institution eventually became one of the longest-established… More →

The first evidence that exists of the original structure and seed of Basílica Menor de la Sacra Iglesia Parroquial de San Ildefonso dates back to 1248, when it was created as a chapel for serving… More →

The old University of Santo Domingo de Jaén, also known as the Old Royal Convent and University of Santa Catalina Mártir de Padres Dominicos, Old Royal Convent of Santo Domingo-University of… More →

The Palacio de la Diputación building is considered the main work of civil architecture in the city and was built in 1891. Today was not the first time that the Diputación (provincial… More →

The Museo Ibero (Iberian Museum) is located in Jaen city and is dedicated to the prehistoric Iberian culture of Spain. Intended to raise city's profile, on a regional, national and international… More →

The Palace of the Counts of Villardompardo was built in the sixteenth century by Fernando Torres y Portugal, I Count of Villardompardo and Viceroy of Peru. The buildings current use is a cultural… More →

The Capuchinos Dark Chamber was installed in one of the towers of the Alameda auditorium, intended to recover the view offered by the old Capuchin viewpoint. Its location is considered the ideal… More →

The Palacio de los Vilches is a Renaissance palace from the sixteenth century with a corner facade of six semicircular arches supported on eight Doric columns; among them busts of heroes of… More →

A robust arch with Gothic lines constitutes today the only visible remnant of what was the previous Iglesia de San Lorenzo, a parish created at the end of the thirteenth century. Located on… More →

The church is a temple of great architectural interest situated on the grounds of an Islamic mosque, the entire current church dates back to the first quarter of the sixteenth century, in the… More →

The Royal Convent of Santa Clara, in the Gothic-Mudejar, Renaissance and Baroque styles, is thought to be the oldest convent in the city. It was built between the thirteenth and eighteenth… More →

The convent dates from 1580 and was built under the Order of the Mercedarian Fathers, who moved to live there and left a small house that they had near the Puerta Martos where they had their… More →

The small church is of medieval origin, being erected as a parish in the fourteenth century and built between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. A space with a steep slope that is softened by… More →

It is one of the first temples in Jaén, as it dates from the second half of the fourteenth century, and was built on a mosque; proof of this is the existence of the remains of a Muslim minaret on… More →

In the chronicles about this Convent it tells us about Francisco Ullua Palomino and his wife, Doña Luisa de Quesada y Valenzuela. His Christian piety was not content with having given a son and… More →

The Paseo is a long and straight avenue that runs north from the historic and monumental center of the city. It begins in the Plaza de la Constitución, one of the liveliest places in the city, and… More →

The public fountain is situated next to one of the eight gates of the Santa Catalina Castle wall. Its design and construction is attributed to Alonso Barba, of clear Renaissance aesthetics and… More →

The monument is of a lizard, being the most famous legend of the capital. The saying goes: “Hopefully you will burst like the Lizard of Jaén”. There are a few versions of the legend however it is… More →

At the top of Cerro del Calvario stands the hermitage, a rectangular building measuring 16x7.3 meters. The origins of this ordeal are difficult to pin down: its oldest references are from the mid-… More →


The Cathedral

The city of Jaen is rich in history, with impressive monuments such as the Cathedral. © Michelle Chaplow
The city of Jaen is rich in history, with impressive monuments such as the Cathedral.



Cathedral Secrets

Cathedral Secrets Cathedral Secrets

Jaén, an overlaying city from prehistory up to date, strategically placed in a natural border, is crossed by forces. Protected by a "legend gecko" and medieval walls, its cathedral is a Spanish Renaissance Gem. With that tour you'll be led to live the city as a localBook tour now


More Churches, Convents and Monastaries

As would be expected in a city with Jaen’s history, there is quite a collection of religious buildings, each with its own special architectural offering. The San Ildefonso Church is the largest centre for Catholic mass (after the Cathedral, of course). It offers a wide range of styles, including gothic, rennaissance and neoclassical all in one package, as it was built over two centuries (1300’s and 1400’s). Other religious buildings of interest are the Magdalena Church, which is the oldest in the city (and even contains remnants of an old mosque) and the Santo Domingo Convent that was build in the 1500’s. The Santa Ursula Monostery also makes its home in Jaen along with numerous other smaller sanctuaries and temples.


Arabs and Jews

The Arab Baths in Jaen.

Obvsiously moorish rule left its mark on Jaen and in fact laid the foundations of the city. One of the main monuments to this era today is the Arab baths that are located under the Villardompardo Palace and date all the way back to the reign of the muslim ruler Abd-Al-Rahman II.

Jewish residents also played an important role in the city’s history. If you’ve ever been to Seville or Toledo you might have been impressed with the old Jewish neighbourhoods. Not many know that Jaen has one too. You can still visit the narrow, winding streets and imagine the Sephardic culture that originated here. Stop by the Synogogue as well. 

Jaén is a virtual treasure chest, full of monuments to a rich history. Visit the tourist office to learn about guided tours and don’t be afraid to ask the natives for more information about their beloved home.