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Andújar

ANDÚJAR

by Saskia Mier

Andújar is home to the rolling 74,774 ha of the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park, with many lovely spots to sit and meditate along its banks and more remote areas inhabited by an impressive number of endangered species, such as the Iberian lynx, wolf, black vulture and imperial eagle. The town has has about 36,600 inhabitants.

HISTORY

The oldest remains found in the area date from the Paleolithic era, belonging to the Acheliense Culture, but it was during the Neolithic period and in the first part of the Bronze Age that the population of the area began to develop more seriously, supported by the development of agriculture in its fertile lands and mining in the Sierra Morena. According to recent archaeological studies, the first group to form a major settlement here were the Oretanos, who founded the ancient Isturgi, in the place today occupied by the district of Los Villares de Andújar. More>

THINGS TO SEE IN THE VILLAGE

Torre del Reloj
According to local tradition, the clock tower is located where the minaret of the Arab mosque that existed in this square once stood. Built in brick and stone, it was completed in 1534. It features a fabulous imperial coat of arms, which shows the lineage of the Trastamara and the Habsburgs on the right-hand side, and that of Avis (the lineages of Emperor Carlos V and his wife Isabel of Portugal) on the left, and a carved sundial in stone. Currently, the clock tower is the Andújar Tourist Information Office. Located in Plaza Santa María. Location

Opening Times:
October-May, Monday-Friday, 09:00-14:00hrs and 17:00-19:00hrs
October-May, Saturday, 09:00-13:30hrs
June-September, Monday-Friday, 08:00-15:00hrs
June-September, Saturday, 09:00-13:30hrs
Tel: 953 50 49 59

Museo Aqueológico Profesor Sotomayor
This museum showcases the pottery tradition of the Roman City near Andújar (Isturgi), as well as showing how pottery has survived in this territory over two thousand years, fuelled by industry. There are also fossil remains from different periods, Visigothic remains and contemporary works. The building was built between the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Located on Calle Maestras, in Palacio de los Niños de Don Gómez. Location

Opening Times:
Winter, Tuesday-Friday, 11:00-14:30hrs and 16:00-18:00hrs
Winter, Saturday, 11:00-13:00hrs
Summer, Tuesday-Friday, 10:00-14:30hrs
Summer, Saturday, 11:00-13:00hrs
Free entry
Tel: 953 51 31 78

Antiguo Convento de los Jesuitas
The construction of this building began in 1621 for the establishment of the Order of the Society of Jesus, on the condition that a College of Latin and Science be established to educate the children of the local aristocracy. In the nineteenth century, it became a Municipal Hospital. The artistic interest of the complex lies in the Renaissance staircase that connects the two floors, made by Francisco Gómez in the first half of the eighteenth century. It was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest 2011. Located in Plaza de Santo Domingo. Location

Antiguo Convento de las Capuchinas
The Capuchin Mothers settled in the Capuchin Convent in 1682. At first, it was under the patronage of the Town Hall, but later passed to Juan Moreno Ponce de León. With the transfer of the Capuchin Mothers in 1982 to their convent in Córdoba, all their sacred objects, relics, church altarpiece and other artistic artefacts left the city. Restored by the Workshop School, the house currently holds the Antonio González Orea Museum of Plastic Arts. Asset of Cultural Interest 1997. Located on Calle Calancha. Location

Opening Times:
Tuesday-Friday, 18:00-20:00hrs
Saturday and Sunday, 110:00-13:00hrs
Tel: 953 50 59 03

Convento de las Madres Trinitarias Descalzas
The presence of the Contemplative Trinitarian Mothers in the city dates back to 1587, the year in which they founded their convent. Little remains of the original convent, due to the passing time and successive renovations. On the main altar, there is a carving of the Immaculate Conception from the seventeenth century, and paintings such as La Trinidad and the Sagrada Familia, from the second half of the seventeenth century. Located on Calle Granados. Location

Palacio Municipal
The Municipal Palace (1620-1639) is an Asset of Cultural Interest (2009) where festive, religious and residential spaces have been combined since its creation. As a comedy house, it was one of the best in Andalusia, more closely linked to Italian Renaissance refinement than to the traditional comedy corrals in use in the Iberian Peninsula, a fact that caught the attention of the Italian traveler Cosme de Medici in the mid-seventeenth century. Located in Plaza del Mercado. Location

Iglesia de San Bartolomé
It is unknown exactly when this church was built, however, it is likely that it was a long building process, including some reflections of the aestheticism of the sixteenth century, such as its imposing bell tower. Asset of Cultural Interest 1982. Located on Calle Corredera San Bartolomé. Location

Iglesia de Santa Marina
The eighth-century church is the oldest temple in the city, built on a mosque and commemorating the day that Fernando III entered Andújar. Originally built in the Gothic style, it underwent important transformations in the first half of the seventeenth century at the hand of the master builder of the Bishopric of Jaén, Juan de Aranda y Salazar, by order of the then Bishop Baltasar Moscoso y Sandoval. Asset of Cultural Interest 2010. Located on Calle Santa Marina. Location

Puente Romano
The roman bridge was built at the beginning of the second century AD, in the time of Septimio Severo Pío, according to the inscription that appears on a broken tombstone of the bridge, found during works in the nineteenth century. Since then, it has been an essential communication route in the Guadalquivir Valley, and in recent times it came to support the traffic of the N-IV. Located on Plaza Miranda. Location

Iglesia de Santa María La Mayor
This church’s construction began in 1467 and continued until 1624. Of Gothic origin, it has a hall plan with three naves, with ribbed vaults at the feet. During the sixteenth century, its robust tower, made of brick and Mudejar decoration, began to be erected. Located in Plaza Santa María. Location

THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE

Santuario de la Virgen de la Cabeza
This Sanctuary holds the image of the Virgen de la Cabeza, patron saint of Andújar, venerated by the bull of Pope Pius X on March 18, 1909, and of the Diocese of Jaén, by the decree of Pope John XXIII on 27 November 1959. The Sanctuary was built between 1287 and 1304, and renovated at the end of the sixteenth century. Since 1930, the Trinitarians have attended worship in the Sanctuary and, throughout the year, maintain devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. During the Spanish Civil War, it was the refuge of some two hundred rebellious civil guards from the national side of the province who joined the military uprising in Spain in July 1936. They resisted the siege for nine months against a much larger contingent of soldiers loyal to the Government of the Second Spanish Republic. During these months, some people left the Sanctuary and surrendered to the attackers of the republican side, until finally, on May 1, 1937, with the Sanctuary reduced to rubble, Captain Santiago Cortés González was mortally wounded. The Sanctuary was eventually taken by the republican side. It was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 2013 and can be found on Cerro del Cabezo. Location

Museo de la Virgen de la Cabeza
This museum collects information and objects relating to the historical devotion to the Virgen de la Cabeza over the centuries, and the artistic and anthropological significance of this worship. The official inauguration of the museum took place on April 19, 1998. It is divided into three rooms; the first displays the mantles of greatest historical significance, as well as a painting of the pilgrimage from the seventeenth century and the custody donated by Mussolini; in the second room, you can see the mantles given by the Kings of Spain and other personalities, various reproductions of the image of the Virgen de la Cabeza, her processional cage and several showcases with objects of high significance; in the third room, we find a 1/50 scale model of the Sanctuary, the work of Don Manuel Molina and the gallery of the painter, Arsenia Tenerio, on Beata Isabel Canori Mora. Asset of Cultural Interest 1985. Located in the Santuario de la Virgen de la Cabeza. Location

Opening Times:
Monday-Sunday, 09:30-13:30hrs and 16:30-18:30hrs
Tel: 953 54 90 15

NATURAL AREAS

Sierra de Andújar Natural Park
The Natural Park has the largest patches of Mediterranean forest on the Iberian Peninsula, dominated by holm oak, cork oak and, at higher altitudes where humidity is highest, gall oak. It is also crossed by several rivers and swamps. It is an ideal setting for activities such as hiking or photography. It has many trails, viewpoints, recreational areas and tourist services.

HANDICRAFTS

Popular crafts still produced in Andújar include ceramics, colourful packsaddle making, taxidermy, tanning, ironwork, guitar making, embroidery and tailoring (specifically of flamenco fashion). There is also a rich tradition of candle making.

GASTRONOMY

Game meats are widely used in Andújar’s gastronomy and feature in dishes such as guiso de ciervo (venison stew), perdiz en escabeche (partridge escabeche) and perdiz con habichuelas (broad beans and partridge). Other dishes to try are revuelto de esparragos trigueros (wild asparagus with eggs), canto (tomato and cod), ajo blanco (cold garlic almond soup) and caracoles a la taza (snails).

FESTIVALS

Popular festivals in Andújar are La Candelaria, Fiesta Patronal de San Eufrasio, Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen, Fiesta de la Aparición de la Virgen de la Cabeza and Feria y Fiestas de Andújar. More>

NEARBY PLACES

The neighbouring villages to Andújar are Bailén and Villa del Río.

 

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