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Ubeda is in the province of Jaen in the region of Andalucia. Ubeda is famous for its Renaissance architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with its neighbour Baeza. Ubeda is just 11km from Baeza, another fabulous Renaissance town. Its old town has been declared a historic-artistic site.
Ubeda is a wonderful town full of Renaissance architecture. In the 15th and 16th centuries many aristocratic families decided to settle here and built many houses and palaces in Renaissance style. Its main square, the Plaza de Vazquez de Molina, in particular is fabulous - one of the best Renaissance squares in Spain.
Surrounding the square are buildings many of which were designed by Andres de Vandelivra in the late 16th century. The Palacio de las Cadenas is now the town hall (ayuntamiento) and has a superb facade fronted by stone lions. The Palacio de las Cadenas is also home to the tourist office and the Museo de Alfareria which has a collection of pottery. (Ubeda is well known for its ceramics).
The 13th century Church of Santa Maria de los Reales Alcazares is also on the square as is the Carcel del Obispo or 'Bishop's Jail' where nun's punished by the bishop were sent!
The Capilla del Salvador on the square was built by Vandelivra but designed by Diego de Siloé who built the cathedrals in Granada and Malaga. This church is a particularly fine example of Spanish Renaissance architecture and has a superb Plateresque facade.
Also on the Plaza Vazquez de Molina is the Parador of Ubeda. This is housed in a 16th century palace and is beautiful. The parador is a beautiful place to stay for a visit to Ubeda.
Another fine building in Ubeda is the Hospital of Santiago built in the 16th century. Again designed by Andres de Vandelvira it has towers at either side of the building one of which has a spire decorated with blue and white tiles. The Hospital is used as a conference centre these days.
The church of San Pablo has a 13th century apse and balcony and a 16th century chapel designed by Vandelvira.
Ubeda's old town is surrounded by defensive walls whose origins date back to the Moors in 852.
Places to visit near Ubeda
As well as visiting the neighbouring Baeza which is also full of superb Renaissance architecture take a drive through the Parque Naturala de Cazorla. The park is beautiful with wooded mountains, river valleys and an abundance of wildlife. There is also the Moorish Castillo de la Yedra.
Baeza with its superb Renaissance architecture is a must when you are visiting this region of Andalucia.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Andalucia guide.