OCTOBER 14: Twin towns of Ubeda and Baeza (World Heritage sites)

Posted on Feb 12, 2012 in category



Ubeda and Baeza are a little more than 9 kilometres apart. Both towns are listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List (2003). Both towns have Iberian and Roman backgrounds but the main significance of the towns is "Renaissance Monumental Ensembles” (2003). In the 16th century both towns prospered with the wool, olive and wine industries with the aristocratic families becoming patrons of the arts like the Medicis in Florence. Many palacios were built in Ubeda whilst Baeza’s elite responded by building grand public buildings. The good times were short-lived with both towns’ architectural heritage surviving mainly due to long-term economic decline in the area and little capital for modern investments. Survival by default! Unfortunately, the drive from Cordoba took longer than we expected resulting in arriving in Udeba/Baeza around lunchtime/siesta time with little time to enter the heritage buildings. Tip: spend more than one night in Spanish towns if travelling any distance!


Ubeda’s most important historic buildings include: the Palace of Francisco de los Cobos, designed by Luis de Vega (now in municipal use), funerary chapel of El Salvador del Mundo, Palace of Vázquez de Molina, Hospital Honrados Viejos, Palace of the Déan Ortega (now a tourist hotel), Pósito (now a police station), Palace of the Marqués de Mancera (now a convent), Cárcel del Obispo (Bishop's Prison, late 16th century, now a law court) and Church of Santa María.



Plaza Mayo no.1 – A School of Arts, Ubeda


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Ubeda Cathedral – closed for siesta! Amen!



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‘Sacra Capilla del Salvador’ (16th century) with many unusual pagan images on its main portal (Jupiter receiving food from a cupid character).



Ubeda University courtyard is another restored 16th century wonder.



Palacio on every corner in Ubeda!



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Restored ‘Casa Mudejar’ Museum with an Iberian female deity from an oppidum near Ubeda.




Baeza’s jewels include many buildings from the Plaza de Santa María through to the steep Cuesta de San Felipe and down to the Cañuelo Gate. Buildings and features of prominance include the Cathedral, the ‘Fountain of Santa María’, the former Seminary of St Philip Neri (1598-1660), now used as administrative offices for the Junta de Andalucía. The Jabalquinto Palace of the late 15th century is close by and facing it is the ‘Colegio de las Madres Filipenses’, with the 13th-century ‘Church of Santa Cruz’ beyond. The University building of the 16th century is of special interest as allegedly graduating students signed their signatures on the front of the building in blood!



University at Baeza (A.D.1538) with former students’ signatures painted in blood!

A 16th century fountain, ‘Fuente Santa Maria’, dedicated to Philip II is a triumphal-arched feature.



‘Casas Consistoriales Altas’ was the seat of political power in Baeza (A.D.15th century) 



‘Palacio de Jabalquinto’ (16th century). Part of the university and closed for siesta zzzzz!


‘Plaza del Populo’ with its Civil Court Office, ‘Los Leones’ fountain,

Puerta de Jaen’ and ‘Arc de Villalar’.



The Butchers’ Guild Building is behind the Lions’ Fountain (16th century)

Baeza was unfortunately a one-night-siesta-stand; however, Granada awaits us tomorrow.

For a virtual tour of Baeza

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