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Baeza is in the province of Jaen in the region of Andalucia. Famous for its Renaissance architecture Baeza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Baeza is just 11km from Ubeda, another fabulous Renaissance town.
Baeza is a beautiful historic town full of Renaissance architecture and surrounded by groves of olive trees. It is situated on the edge of the National Park of Cazorla which is one of the most spectacular National Parks in Spain.
Baeza was once a Moorish town and was the first in Andalucia to be reconquered in 1226. A period of great wealth followed and a beautiful medieval town was constructed.
Highlights of Baeza
The Plaza Mayor at the heart of Baeza is two plazas together - the Plaza de la Contitucion with a garden at one end and the Plaza de Espana at the other. Around the squae are lots of fine buildings including 'La Alhondiga', the old corn exchange with its triple tier arches.
Next to the Plaza Mayou is the Plaza del Populo where the tourist office is sited in a Plateresque palace called the Casa del Populo. Pick up a map in the tourist office to make sure you dont miss any of Baeza's sights.
At the Plaza del Populo is also the Puerta de Jaen y Arco de Villalar. This is a stone gateway into the city.
The Cathedral, on the Plaza Santa Maria, was built in the 16th century and has an attractive cloister where part of the mosque, which originally stood here, can be seen. In the cathedral is a 'rejas' (choir screen) by Bartolme, one of the masters of this style.
There are many Renaissance mansions in Baeza and one of the best is the Palacio de Jabalquinto. It has a Renaissance courtyard and Baroque staircase. Its courtyard is open to visitors most days. It is very pretty as it is surrounded by two storeys of arched walkways around the edge of the courtyard. As it is part of the University of Andalucia you can just walk in and have a look.
One of the dominant buildings in Baeza is the Antigua Universidad which was one of Spain's main universities from 1542 to 1825. It has fine Renaissance and Baroque styles. It is used still as the summer school for Granada university.
The town hall (Ayuntmiento) is a Plateresque style and is two buildings joined together by an arch. This is near the Plaza de Espana. The cathedral and the heart of the old town are slightly to the south around the Plaza de Santa Maria.
From the city walls you get some nice views over the surrounding countryside.
Where to visit near Baeza?
As well as the equally stunning Renaissance town of Ubeda, Baeza sits on the edge of a beautiful National Park, the Parque Natural de Cazorla. This park has stunning mountainous scenery and lovely wooded river valleys.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Andalucia guide.