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Jaén is a city of 113,000 people (2018) in Andalusia and the capital of the eponymous province. Jaén is called the world capital of olive oil, because the province produces 200,000 tons of oil annually. Around it, there are olive groves as far as the eye can see.


The layout of Jaén is determined by its position in the hills of the Santa Catalina mountains, with steep, narrow streets, in the historical central city district.

The city of Jaén is the administrative and industrial centre for the province. Industrial establishments in the city include chemical works, tanneries, distilleries, cookie factories, textile factories, as well as agricultural and olive oil processing machinery industry.


Jaén was already settled by the Paleolithic era. The Romans called the city Auringis. They mined silver in the area. The Moors called the place Geen (place where the caravans pass). King Ferdinand III conquered Geen in 1246. He moved the bishopric from Baeza here, making Jaén the centre of Catholic Andalusia and the Reconquista (reconquest). In 1466 Jaén was given the title "Very noble, famous and faithful city of Jaén, Guardian and defender of the kings of Castile". The conquest of Granada in 1492 was started from Jaén.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The closest airport is Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport (GRX IATA). It is 106 km from Jaén and 17 km from Granada. There are flights from Madrid, Barcelona or Palma de Mallorca. From the airport you can get to Jaén by car via the A-92 and then the A-44. Alternatively, you can use public transport. First by bus to Granada to the train station and by train (RENFE) to Jaén.

By train[edit]

There is a train connection between Jaén and Granada, Córdoba, Seville, Málaga, Madrid and other cities in Spain.

By bus[edit]

Jaen has frequent connections to Granada, Malaga, Cordoba and other Spanish cities from its central bus station, placed in the city centre.

By car[edit]

From Granada you can get to Jaén via the A-44 autovia.

From Córdoba you drive on the A-4 and from exit No. 374 on the N-306 and A-316 to Jaén.

From Madrid you use the A-4 southwards and then the A-44 from Bailén.

Get around[edit]

The historically interesting sights, with the exception of Castillo, can be explored on foot.

Jaén has 26 service lines that connect the various neighbourhoods of the capital, being able to use the metro card consortium. Buses are characterised by their yellow colour.


Catedrale de Jaén
  • Catedrale de Jaén, in the Plaza Santa Maria. Tu-F 10:00-14:30, 16:30-18:30; Sa 10:00-17:30; Su 10:00-11:30, 14:00-17:30. The most beautiful Renaissance church in Andalusia. It was built in the 16th and 17th centuries and dedicated to Maria Asuncion de la Virgen (Assumption of Mary). Ferdinand III built a church on the walls of a former mosque. Later, in the 15th century, the construction of a Gothic chapel was started to house the "Holy Face". In the 16th century, the Renaissance builder Andrés de Vandelvira began the renovation. The three-aisled cathedral was declared a historical monument. Eufrasio Lopéz de Rojas created the baroque facade. The church has 17 chapels with paintings and sculptures from the 17th and 18th centuries. The choir stalls are well worth seeing. It was created by J. Gallego in the 18th century. In the vestibule you can see a beautiful painting of the Sagrada FamiliaAdmire (holy family) by Salvador Maelia. The ceiling of the church interior is decorated with richly decorated hanging domes. They are based on arches. The sculptors Pedro Roldán, Julián Roldán and Lucas Gonzalez created beautiful decorations. The relic of the handkerchief of Veronica is kept in a reliquary made of solid gold and gemstones in the main chapel. The sacristy between the chapter house and the pre-sacristy, which is well worth seeing, can be described as Vandelvira's work of art. Adult €6, senior €5, youth 12-18 €4.
  • San Ildefonso. The second largest church in Jaén. It has three portals that were built in different eras.
  • Palacio de Villardompardo. With the Moorish baths. The manor house from the 16th century houses very well-preserved Moorish baths and the two museums for naive art and folk art. The palace was built by the former viceroy of Peru Fernando de Torres y Portugal. The Moorish baths from the 10th century have been a listed building since 1917. During the Moorish times they were an important meeting point in the city. People bathed and used the opportunity to talk to others. The bathroom consists of four rooms. The vestibule is made of marble with red and white arches. This is followed by the cold, warm and hot room. This is followed by the boiler rooms. Three halls are still preserved. The building has been a cultural and historical monument since 1931. Open: Tu-F 09:00-20:00, Sa Su 09:30-14:30, closed M holidays.
  • Iglesia San Andrés. Next to the Palacio de Villardompardo was built in the Mudejar style and has an interesting altar. infoto edit
View from the Castillo to the Convento
  • Real Monasterio de Santo Domingo. Holy Sunday Royal Monastery was built in the 14th century. It has a beautiful renaissance facade.
  • Santa Catalina Castle. An important fortress on the Castilian-Moorish border on the Santa Catalina hill above the city. From the Mirador de la Cruz viewpoint , you have a beautiful view of Jaén and its cathedral and the other churches. The remains of 3 castles can still be seen. There is a corridor down to the city. In the castle is now the Parador de Jaén.


  • Via Verde del Aceite. The 120-km-long railway cycle path for (olive) oil leads from Jaen to Puente Genil. It is mostly paved and offers a lot of imposing metal bridges. The Autovia Jaen - Cordoba is also bridged several times. The route has 3 tunnels, the easternmost in Torredelcampo has a length of 340 m. The western section is also called Via Verde de la Subbética.
  • International Piano Competition Premio Jaén (Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio Jaén). The oldest and most important piano competition in Spain. It takes place over ten days in late April. Pianists under the age of 32 play works of the great composers.



The gastronomy of Jaen is very varied, emphasizing local dishes such as the pipirrana (tomato, green peppers, breadcrumbs, garlic shoots, olive oil, vinegar, salt and hard-boiled egg); "spinach a la Jaén" (garlic, croûtons, spiced sausage, bayleaf, egg, orange zest and vinegar); "rice a la Jaén" (very weak), "veal with chopped garlic", "trout from the rivers of Jaén" (trout, butter, chunks of ham with bacon, parsley, white wine and salt), "ajo blanco a la Jaén" (raw almond, olive oil, eggs, garlic, salt, vinegar and water).

Among the most well-known confectioneries of Jaén is "rice pudding", "gachas of Jaen" (a sort of porridge), "pestiños", "gusanillos" and "ochíos".

In Jaén the eating of tapas is very common; numerous bars exist where, for the price of a beer (around €1.50), one can purchase a tapa, which consists of a small plate of food for one person.




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