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Jaen Province - Bailén


by Paz Rosado translated by Leoni Chaplow

Bailén is a destination for those interested in history. It was here on 19 July 1808 that an important turning point for the battle of the Peninsular War (in Spanish Guerra de la Independencia) was fought.  Francisco Castaños and the Spanish defeated the great Napoleonic army for the first time. The best time to visit the town is July, when the commemorative celebrations take place each year.


Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación
The church was built in the fifteenth century following the canons of Elizabethan Gothic style. Later additions can be seen in its main doorway, dating from the seventeenth century and showing Renaissance, Baroque and Mannerist elements. 

Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Solidad
The chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is dated between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and has elements of Gothic and Baroque styles.

Ermita de Jesus
the Ermita de Jesus dates from the eighteenth century and is built in the Baroque style.

Ermito de Cristo
The Ermita de cristo dates from the eighteenth century and is built in the Baroque style.

Ermita de la Virgen de de Zocueca
Chapel of Virgen de de Zocueca, patroness of Bailén, was built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Bailén Castle
Bailén Castle was built by Muslims in the ninth century on the site of a former Visigoth monastery. Unfortunately only the remains of some stretches of wall can be seen today.


Bailén handicrafts predominantly feature ceramics. There are numerous workshops making  all kinds of objects, including plates, bowls or jars.


To taste the local delicacies of the cuisine you have to ask for dishes like perdiz en escabeche (pickled partridge), guiñapos (tatters) or loin sautéed salmon. For dessert, nothing better than an ice cream with olive oil or sweet called papajote.  


Carnival and feast of Candelaria  (February)
Typical bonfires

District of St.Joseph  (May)
Celebration with a feast

Battle of Bailén  (October)
Commemorations of the Battle of Bailén

Prilgrimage of the virgin of Zocueca  (September)
Local fare and music


The town of Bailén is located 40 kilometers from the city of Jaen, from which can be reached by taking exit 12 off the A-44.