Hidalgos and Councils of Jaen

ITINERARY: Úbeda - Baeza - Canena - Sabiote - Villacarrillo - Cazorla - Huelma - Jaen - Martos.

Whoever wishes to see Renaissance architecture and town planning in Andalusia must go to the province of Jaen. The splendour displayed by the new style is due to the conjunction of two things: the vigour and patronage of handful of local noble families - Cobos, Molina... - and the presence of an architect as good as Andrés de Vandelvira. The acme is reached in Baeza and Úbeda birthplace of Francisco de los Cobos, secretary to the emperor Charles V.

His impulse was an example for other noblemen and for memebers of the local municipal councils, that provided their towns with a remarkable number of civilian buildings - mansions, town halls, prisions, abattoirs, granaries, fishmongers', universities, fountains, hospitals - among which some of the masterpieces of Andalusian Renaissance are to be found.

At Úbeda, around the Plaza del Salvador, there is a series of fundamental works by Vandelvira, such as Palacio de Velázquez (Town Hall), Palacio del Marqués de Mancera, the granary remodelled in the 18th century, Palacio del Condestable Dávalos (the Parador) and church of El Salvador, based on a project by Diego de Siloé as a funerary chapel for Francisco de los Cobos. Also very much worth visiting are the Palacio del conde de Guadiana, Casa de las Torres - with one of the best courtyards of Andalusian Renaissance, Palacio Vela de los Cobos and the hospital of Santiago.

The most outstanding buildings in Baeza are the Town Hall and the cluster formed by the Palacio de Jabalquinto and Seminary of San Felipe Neri, the Cathedral, the buildings around the Plaza del Pópulo and the church of San Francisco. At Jaen, the traveller wil find a Renaissance Cathedral, where Vandelvira was responsible for the Chaper House and Vastry.

Other examples of the Renaissance are the Palacio de los Cobeleda Nicuesa and the façades of the Provincial Musuem - old granary and church of San Miguel, and the church of San Idelfonso. Martos has very fine Town Hall, church of Santa María and fuente el Pilar and jail.

In Huelma, we have the parish church by Vandelvira. Canena and Sabiote have magnificent Renaissance castles. Villacarrillo has the church of La Asunción and Cazorla the ruins of its parish church and Las Cadenas fountain.

Other towns throughout the province, such as Alcalá la Real, preserve samples of Renaissance architecture in their churches and various buildings.

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