Úbeda and Baeza–a World Heritage journey
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Come with us through two of the most historic cities in Andalusia on a World Heritage tour full of places from the Renaissance and cobbled streets that you will be surprised to see in the south.
When you travel to Andalusia, that image of whitewashed villages with narrow, brightly-lit streets, seems to be the prototype of an Andalusian village that all travellers expect to find. A prototype of white-walled village that dissolves when you reach Úbeda and Baeza before the surprised gaze of visitors.
Two emblematic cities in the province of Jaén, separated from each other by just under 10 kilometres, but together representing a journey back in time through two of the most historic cities in Andalusia that is certain to amaze.
Two World Heritage cities that are home to an extremely important group of silent streets, stone façades and little spots that you will never forget.
We suggest a route that we could well begin in Úbeda and its famous Plaza Vázquez de Molina. Pure delight.
The square itself is a work of art. A simple 360º turn will be enough for you to see in less than 1 minute why this city was declared a World Heritage Site.
Here, you can visit the Sacra Capilla del Salvador, a masterpiece by Diego de Siloé, the result of which is a church worthy of the best Italian Renaissance works. Spectacular.
Not far from there, we find the Palacio del Deán Ortega, currently a Parador Hotel, which is undoubtedly one of the best places to spend the night in the city, and —of course— the Collegiate Church of Santa María de los Reales Alcázares.
The wonderful Collegiate Church of Santa María de los Reales Alcázares is one of the best examples of how the passage of time and the history of the city has changed its appearance. Remember that an old Roman temple in honour of the goddess Diana, remains from the Bronze Age and a Muslim mosque have all been found within it. And just opposite the latter, we find what is commonly known as the Palacio de las Cadenas, now the Town Hall.
Leaving the square, we will cross the narrow streets of the city until we come out at the old Santiago Hospital, which is well worth a visit as it is one of the most beautiful spots in Ubeda.
This hospital performed its hospital duties up to 1975, when it shared this role with that of a church, pantheon and palace.
Nowadays it is used as a cultural centre and, for travellers, it is one of the essential places to visit in Ubeda.
From there, we will skip over to the recently discovered Synagogue of Water.
A magical place that was not open to the public until 2010 as it had remained hidden until it was discovered by chance while some demolishment work was being performed, which resulted in the current synagogue, consisting of —amongst others— a courtyard, a main hall with pointed arches, a wine cellar and the spectacular Mikveh, where ritual bathing took place for purification.
We cannot forget the beautiful Casa de Torres, first palatial mansion in the city…
Or the Al-Andalus Art House-Museum, another essential place to visit in Ubeda and Baeza. Going through its doors is transporting yourself back to the 15th century. It has been impressively conserved. Wandering all around it, its two floors and stairs is a real privilege within reach of all tourists.
Being able to end the morning with a stroll around the walls of the city is the best possible way to complete your visit to Ubeda, where you will be fascinated and amazed by the “sea of olive trees” surrounding the city, which so inspired Antonio Machado, and by the beautiful scenery of Sierra Mágina.
And, from Ubeda, we will move to Baeza… where a simple stroll around its Cathedral Church will absolutely fascinate you.
Baeza itself is a spectacular group of monuments with quiet streets and golden stones decorating its façades.
Two sister cities. Two ancient cities. Cities where the strolling is almost compulsory for travellers. Unique spots that will bring your attention to Spain's most Renaissance past.
Two cities where history and art have left their mark as unique little spots. A journey where you will relax, enjoy and be surprised street after street.