The province of Jaen has been throughout history a strategic site due to its location and has some of the oldest settlements in Europe. Currently the production of olive oil is one of the main economic engines of Jaen.
The weather is usually quite hot during the summer and the winters are cold with temperatures down to -3.
The first data of human presence in the province date back to the Neolithic period with an important legacy of rock paintings and other megalithic remains.
Jaen has had Iberian, Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian presence until finally it was taken by the Roman Empire; a period during which they exported fruits, wheat, wine, oil, wax and honey.
After the fall of the Roman Empire the province had a slight Visigoth presence that never quite settled and which was a period of decadence for the city until the Arabs came and conquered it, regaining importance and creating large areas of culture and an industry of tapestry and household utensils.
After the capture of the city by the Christian armies, Jaen played an important role in the conquest of Al-Andalus and the Kingdom of Granada.
The historical legacy of the city Jaen has led to a significant interest in its historical and monumental heritage; there is also the Natural Park of Sierras de Cazorla and Segura as an important natural resource that attracts a large number of tourists every year. Among the places we recommend to visit are:
Santa Catalina castle
Defensive structure from where you have a nice view of the city Jaen and the mountains surrounding the area of Cerro de Santa Catalina. Only the new Alcazar is preserved, even if the hill where it is located was previously used by Iberians and by the Carthaginians who along with Hannibal built an important fortress to protect the city, fortress that was later used by the Romans after the conquest.
Muslims upon arrival built a new fortress which stood near the Santa Catalina castle; from the Muslim building only a few traces remain near the nowadays National Parador, considered one of the best castles in Europe where to stay.
Historic Ensemble of Alcala la Real
In this town of Jaen are outstanding the fortress Fortaleza de la Mota on the hill and its Alcazaba from where you can see Sierra Nevada in the south.
Old Town of Begiiar
Declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 2011 it has several monuments, some of these are:
- Town Hall built during the sixteenth century.
- Tower Torre del Concejo located between the town hall and jail.
- Jail which is currently used as an exhibition hall.
- Ruins of the castle, tower and wall. - Arab Tower of the XI century.
Yedra castle in Cazorla
This defensive castle of Arab origin was renovated by Christians who gave its architecture a strong Gothic style.
Sanctuary Zocueca in Guarroman
This medieval sanctuary has a high artistic value.
Arab baths of Jaen
Being considered the largest Arab baths in Spain, they are situated in the basement of the Palace Villardompardo, which is also home to the International Museum of Naïve Art and Popular Customs.
These Arab baths were built using the remains of a Roman bath.
Located in the Alto Guadalquivir, is this Arab castle is situated in the Natural Park of Sierra de Cazorla and Segura.
The castle was used by the Templar Knights after the Christian conquest and is still used today for performances and artistic activities.
Archaeological Site Castulo in Linares
On the road from Linares to Torreblascopedro is a turnoff to the interpretation centre and a place where you can park your vehicle.
The place was inhabited from the third millennium BC to the fifteenth century and abandoned suddenly, which has helped to preserve this area. Here have settled prehistoric, Iberian and Roman towns until finally, during the medieval period after several attempts to be repopulated, the place was abandoned and remains of buildings demolished in order not to become a refuge to bandits.
Faces of Belmez de la Moraleda
One of the most famous paranormal cases that came to light in 1971 when some faces appeared on the concrete walls of a house in the village of Belmez and which remain visible today. The place is open and has a visitation schedule.
You must head towards Antequera and follow the road signals to Cabra, Baena and Martos from where you will get to Jaén in aproximately 2 hours.
To go to Jaen from Malaga by train you have to take a train to Cordoba from Malaga Maria Zambrano station and from there to Jaen.
The map below will show you the road route to Jaen from Malaga: