25 Jan Jaen’s olive groves
The Spanish province of Jaen and its eponymous capital is the world leader in the production of olive oil. It is located in the south of the country at the foot of the mountain of Santa Catalina. Olives ripen under the hot Andalusian sun. The Romans, Arabs and Christians fought for the right to own this ancient city. It seems to us that it is in the weary heat of the olive groves of Andalusia that the soul of Spain lies.
Did you know that:
– More olive oil is produced in this province alone than in all of Italy.
– 5 thousand years ago in the vicinity of the city there lived populations who left rock art. Now they are declared by UNESCO part of the World Heritage.
– In V c. BC e. here settled Iberians, an ancient tribe that inhabited the territory of Spain. In place of the Iberians came the Carthaginians, and in the II. BC e. the city was taken by the Romans. After that, the Arabs came, and then as a result of the Reconquista the Christian era reigned.
– The Cathedral (Catedral de la Asunción de Jaén) is the pearl of the Spanish Renaissance. It stands on the site of the mosque. Veronica’s plates with the imprint of the face of Jesus Christ are kept here (Saint Veronica handed a handkerchief to Jesus on the way to Calvary and he later became a relic).
– On July 2 the Magdalena’s Lizard Day is celebrated here by drinking red wine with spices depicting the blood of a bursting reptile.
– The Church of St. Mary Magdalene of the XVI century also stands on the site of a mosque, partially preserved. You can go down and see the former minaret.
– In Jaen, there is the largest bath complex in Europe (remnants of 11th century Arab baths), in the basement of Villadompardo Palace.
– Climbing the mountain, you can visit the castle of Santa Catalina and spend the night there (at the Parador de Jaén).
– A bottle of local olive oil just has to be bought here as a souvenir.