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Attractions

Attractions

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 Centre, offering visitors the chance to discover the history of the castle and the city.

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 by, Pedro López, with the help of Enrique Egas.

Muelle de las Carabelas (Warf of the Caravels) is a waterfront exhibition with life-size replicas of Columbus's three ships: the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa María, built for the 500th anniversary celebrations. The construction of Muelle de las Carabelas was carried out by architect, Pluvio Fernández Heredia, and inaugurated on 15 March 1994.

The name Alhambra comes from an Arabic root which means "red or crimson castle", perhaps due to the hue of the towers and walls that surround the entire hill of La Sabica which by starlight is silver but by sunlight is transformed into gold.

The Mezquita (Mosque) dates back to the 10th century when Córdoba reached its zenith under a new emir, Abd ar-Rahman III who was one of the great rulers of Islamic history. At this time Córdoba was the largest, most prosperous cities of Europe, outshining Byzantium and Baghdad in science, culture and the arts. The development of the Great Mosque paralleled these new heights of splendour.

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 was initiated by Manuel Moral Mozas, a naïve style artist from Torredelcampo, who donated his private collection to the Provincial of Jaén.

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 government) occupied this site.

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.

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 in Spain and are visited by more than 55,000 people a year.

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 Hospitals in the history of Spain, as well as the oldest in Jaén.

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 the Cathedral. Two centuries later, in 1430, it became the scene of a famous miraculous event: the descent of the Virgin Mary to the city of Jaén. After this event, the building became a shrine dedicated to the Virgin of the Chapel and homage was paid to the image of her found inside it. In the sixteenth century, the Virgin of the Chapel was named patron saint of Jaén.

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 Santa Catalina Mártir, or Colegio de Santo Domingo, is founded on a Moorish palace that was once owned by the governors of the Cora de Jaén, and ceded by King Juan I to the friars of the Order of Preachers in 1382.

The hermitage is located in the Plaza de la Oscuridad, in the rear courtyard of a house owned for years by the Ponce de León family. Thanks to a scheme by the City Council, and with the collaboration of its current owner, Fernando Ponce de León, the hermitage has opening times for public access. This was permitted after Mr Ponce de León restored the building with the help of some architects.

This ninth-century cave hermitage, carved into the rock face, has remained hidden from visitors until recently. Today, it is still used for religious purposes by the Brotherhood of the Virgen de la Cabeza. The town of Ronda continues to celebrate a pilgrimage on behalf of the Virgen de la Cabeza that incorporates a visit to the site.

This ninth-century cave hermitage, carved into the rock face, has remained hidden from visitors until recently. Today, it is still used for religious purposes by the Brotherhood of the Virgen de la Cabeza. The town of Ronda continues to celebrate a pilgrimage on behalf of the Virgen de la Cabeza that incorporates a visit to the site.