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by Saskia Mier

Lopera has gained international fame due its distinct shipyard which is situated amongst olive groves. The shipyard has produced winning vessels of important nautical competitions. The town has about 3,650 inhabitants.


Lopera has its origins in the Bronze Age, with remains from this period having been found in the farmhouses of Almazán, Lanzarino I and Cuatro Hermanas. From the Iron Age period, remains of Iberian culture stand out, such as the deposits of Cerro de la Casa, Cerro de los Pollos and Cerro de San Cristóbal. More>


Castillo de Lopera
In Lopera we find one of the best examples of thirteenth-century castles built by the Military Order of Calatrava in the province of Jaén.

Thanks to restoration work, the Castle of Lopera has recovered its original appearance, and the deterioration caused by time has been avoided in a fortress that is considered by researchers to be a jewel of defensive architecture. Visitors entering the enclosure through the main door located in front of the Town Hall therefore walk into a scene that is very similar to what any thirteenth-century courtier would experience.

Located right in the centre of the municipality, the castle, with an irregular pentagon floor plan, has two enclosures; an external one formed by wall canvases and protected by five towers, and an internal one in which two majestic towers called San Miguel and Santa María are joined together by two canvases. San Miguel was used to control access to the fortress. In this tower, you can still see the damage caused by a projectile during the Spanish Civil War. Currently, on the ground floor of the tower there is a museum dedicated to the Battle of Lopera. The tower of Santa María had two superimposed rooms. The one below was transformed into a Gothic chapel during the works carried out in the sixteenth century to convert the castle into a noble residence and, in the twentieth century, it was renovated again in order to condition it as a living room for the owners.

In the mid-twentieth century, a wine cellar was created inside the castle, which significantly altered the original structure of the fortress. Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1991. Located in Plaza de la Constitución.(Location)

Opening Times:
Visits by appointment only.
General, €4.00
Groups 20+, €3.00 per person
Over 65, €2.00
10-16 years, €2.00
Visit includes a tour of Casa de la Tercia.
Tel: 692 190 335

Casa de la Tercia
Las Tercias was once the grain store and the testamentary foundation of Don Gómez Manrique, Knight of the Renaissance. It was built in the second half of the sixteenth century and has more modern private houses attached to one side. It communicates underground with the castle through a passage excavated in the 1960s by the master builder Antonio Cantero. The presence of Miguel de Cervantes in Lopera is confirmed in several documents from the time when he was Commissioner for the collection of grain for the galleys. Thus, it is known that Cervantes was in Lopera at least between February 22 and 25, 1592, when he collected 200 bushels of wheat and 60 bushels of barley for the Invincible Armada. Las Tercias has also been a cellar for local wines for decades, due to its optimal temperature for storage. At present, the upper part is dedicated to various cultural events, as well as housing the Pedro Monje Museum. The lower part is also equipped to hold different events. Both have been recently restored. Located in Plaza del Triunfo.(Location)

Opening Times:
Visits by appointment only.
General, €4.00
Groups 20+, €3.00 per person
Over 65, €2.00
10-16 years, €2.00
Visit includes a tour of Casa de la Tercia.
Tel: 692 190 335

Ermita de Jesús
The chapel has an eighteenth-century Baroque-style portal. At the foot of the hermitage, we can see a high choir, while the central altarpiece is from the nineteenth century, in Neoclassical style, and has the figure of Jesús Nazareno framed in its centre. Attached to the chapel is the old Convento de Jesús, which was the Headquarters of the College of the Hermanas de la Cruz. Located on Calle Sor Ángela de la Cruz.(Location)

Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción
The church demonstrates a clear stylistic succession ranging from the late-Gothic to the exuberantly Baroque. In the presbytery is the altarpiece, composed of a single body with three streets and topped with a tympanum in the attic. The interior holds an image of the Inmaculada Concepción, Patron Saint of the town since 1623. This altarpiece is the 1796 work of Juan de Mata Martínez. The main altar contains the Renaissance tomb of Doña Marina Fernández de Torres, mother of Commander Juan Pacheco de Torres, a work by Juan de Reolid dated 1547. The sacristy houses chasubles embroidered in gold thread, paintings of oil on canvas and chalice and choral books from the fifteenth century. Located in Plaza de la Constitución.(Location)

Ermita del Cristo del Humilladero o Cristo Chico
The chapel dates from the eighteenth century, and is Baroque in style. Although the Cristo del Humilladero arrived in Lopera in 1941, the Soldadesca del Santísimo Cristo del Humilladero was founded in 1761. Located on Calle Humilladero.(Location)

Colegio Miguel de Cervantes
Built in 1928, the Miguel de Cervantes School is rectangular in layout, clad in exposed brick and has two recesses and twenty-four classrooms. Cervantes was in Lopera between February 22 and 25, 1592, in order to collect wheat and barley for the Invincible Armada, hence the School acquired its name. It was restored in 1940. Only its exterior can be visited. Located on Calle Eleuterio Risoto.(Location)

Ermita de San Roque
The Baroque-style chapel dates from the sixteenth century. In 1582, when the town suffered a plague epidemic, the Cabildo, meeting with the Priesthood, decided to pray to the Saint to extinguish the disease. For this reason, three vows were made: to make him a chapel, celebrate the feast in his honor and do penance while fasting. Located on Calle San Roque.(Location)

Casa del Pueblo o Centro Obrero
The Casa del Pueblo or Centro Obrero is a public building that gained prominence in the early years of the twentieth century and developed into a real institution, not least as a social space for workers. It was inaugurated in August 1919 and almost entirely destroyed in the Spanish Civil War. Only its façade, dating from the eighteenth century, remains of the building. Located on Avenida de Andalucia.(Location)


Pilar Nuevo y Ermita de San Isidro Labrador
The watering pillar of Pilar Nuevo dates from 1875, surrounded by an extensive wooded area with large parking areas for visitors. The enclosure is crowned by the contemporary chapel of San Isidro Labrador. Located less than 1km from Lopera, in Pilar Nuevo.(Location)


The Battle of Lopera was fought between December 27 and 29, 1936, orchestrated by two sides, the Nationals and the XIV International Brigade.

As a result of this historical event, an interesting set of goods remained in Lopera. There are currently two important machine gun nests next to the Puente del Arroyo Salado, popularly known as trenches, which are raised with reinforced concrete blocks, although there is also a structure of interlocking iron and small pieces of stone. Both structures were built by the National Army in order to control the passage of people and vehicles over the Arroyo Salado bridge. We can also find trenches, machine gun nests and bunkers from the Spanish Civil War in Cerro de las Esperillas and the old Madrid-Cádiz highway.

There is also a Monument to the International Brigadistas on Calle Pradillo. It was erected in 2000 in honor of the writer Ralph Winston Fox, political commissioner of the 121 Battalion of the XIV Brigade, and the poet Rupert John Cornford, Darwin’s great-grandson; both died in the Battle of Lopera.

The town remembers the confrontation on the third weekend of April. Visitors are able to participate in the acts that take place in the Recreation that has been held since 2016, where locals reenact the confrontation between the two sides. In addition, a “living museum” of the Spanish Civil War, a military parade through the town, is hosted in the parade ground of the Castle and the day closes with a period dance in the town square. Located on Carretera de Bujalance.


Dishes to try when visiting Lopera include trigo pleao (wheat, anchovy and mussel stew), potaje de garbanzos (chickpea stew), panecillos (dumplings), truchas a la molinera (trout) and perdiz en doraillo (partridge). A popular sweet treat is cordiales (almond pudding).


Popular festivals in Lopera are Carnavales, Candelaria, Romería de la Virgen de la Cabeza, Romería de San Isidro, Fiestas en Honor a San Roque and Feria y Fiestas de los Cristos. More>


The neighbouring villages to Lopera are Arjona, Porcuna, Villa del Río and Bujalance.