GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY
From its position above the countryside, the city of Jaén, houses over 116000 inhabitants and its origins date back to the Iberian period. Its situation in the area surrounding the Guadalquivir valley means that the Tartessian influence on the city is notable. Greeks and Phoenicians passed through these lands, however it was the Carthaginians who made Jaén a stronghold. The ancient Auringis was conquered around 207 AC by the Roman General Publio Cornelio and a slow Romanisation process of the city began. In 712 Jaén passed over to the Moors who called the city Yayyan. It was also called Geen that means a passing place for caravans. The first thing the Moors did was to provide the city with a complex sewage system to stop the sewerage being thrown into the streets. In 1246 the King Alhamar handed the city over King Fernando the third, making Jaén a strategic place on the frontier between the Christian and Moorish Kingdoms of Spain.
The period of greatest splendor was between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, coinciding with the establishment of the settlement of Enrique the fourth. In fact, the Christian Monarchs considered Jaén and its Kingdom to be a logistic base from where they could conquer Granada. After the Moors were expelled and with the Discovery of America, the activity decreased and a period of immigration began for the people of Jaén. In the eighteenth century Carlos the third established new towns in Sierra Morena. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the War of Independence reactivated the province`s importance as a strategic position. After the territorial division was established the city was made the provincial capital in 1833.
The climate is warm Mediterranean, varied by its altitude which gives it cold winters and an average temperature of 13ºC and warm summers of 23ºC.
MONUMENTS AND MUSEUMS
The city of Jaén has a rich artistic patrimony: the Santa Catalina castle is of Moorish origins, it was rebuilt in the thirteenth century. The Parador Nacional de Turismo hotel is situated next to the castle from where it overlooks the city. From the top of this mount, the twisting streets of the old part of the city wind their way down, they shelter important monuments like the church of San Ildefonso, the church of the Magdalena, the chapel of San Andrés-with splendid wrought- iron bars from the sixteenth century, the monastery of Santa Clara, with its magnificent cloisters from the sixteenth century; the palace of Villardompardo, that houses the Moorish hammam baths, the Museum of Art and Folk Customs and the International Naif Museum; the Provincial Museum, with its Plateresque façade, jealously keeps the most important remains from the Iberian culture like the Porcuna treasure, the Cerrillo Blanco complex, Pajarillo de Huelma or the Toya burial chamber. There are also Greek, Roman and Moorish ceramics as well as Roman mosaics. The old part of the city has its physical and historic centre in the Plaza de Santa María; from this square you can see the impressive facade of the Cathedral flanked by two beautiful towers, the work of Andrés de Vandelvira, a magnificent example of Andalusian Renaissance with an altarpiece by Pedro Machuca. The interior of the Cathedral has a relic of the Holy Face of Christ and a processional monstrance. On leaving the city ton find yourself in an extensive sea of olive groves, it makes you understand that this province lives exclusively for and from its olive cultivation. Except the mountain areas, the whole province is almost exclusively covered in olive trees, a fruit much appreciated in the cuisine in Andalucía, in Spain and all over the world. Jaén, Renaissance paradise, olive paradise, inland paradise of impressive natural beauty.
Jaén: Holidays and Traditions
Night from 16 to 17 January
No doubt, St. Anton is one of the biggest parties of their own, more particular calendar Jaen. Ritual of fire, with all the connotations of the peasant party, the night of St. Anton has adapted to the urban environment, accommodating the open spaces, plazas, urban expansion and land that the city is by locking in your landscape
Virgen de la Cabeza
The last week of April, from Jaen, prepare the Procession of the Virgen de la Cabeza, Sierra Morena. This Virgin is the patroness of the Diocese. For this reason, and certainly by the magnitude of the pilgrimage itself, this event transcends the local character which is to be held in Andújar in Jaen city you live with special intensity.
Rice Christ Pilgrimage
The second Sunday of May is celebrated pilgrimage of Christ typical Charcales or “Rice” in a place called La Fuente de la Peña, located on the outskirts of the city, near the hill of Santa Catalina and on the way to Jabalcuz
Cruces de Mayo
The first weekend of May, the Jaen Jaen through the streets of the oldest in search of the crosses of flowers placed in the squares neighbors and corners.
Rocio pilgrimage in Jaen
Also available in Jaén devotion and love for the Dew. The Brotherhood was established in 1982 Jaén
Procession of the Virgen Blanca
The current guild was created on 29 August 1848 and is headquartered in the Parish of the Holy Cross, but the image is in the chapel of the Imora, a couple of kilometers from the capital towards Torredelcampo.
Feria de San Lucas
Luke Fair has been known for years as the last cycle of spring and summer holidays in Andalusia, and even Spain, which has undoubtedly helped his character last season bullfighting.