Although they had their roots in the Islamic period, the two small towns of Ubeda and Baeza played a pivotal role in introducing the Italian Renaissance architectural designs to Spain. The most amazing feature of the 2 towns is that they were designed to complement each other and thus cannot be separated. The duality of the towns makes them operate like a single city.
The historic center of the towns contains outstanding renaissance civic architecture. In the 16th century, Spain achieved exceptional development that was characterized with the influence of humanism. This development would be exported to Spanish America and further develop as it fused with the Amerindian cultures.
Ubeda and Baeza are separated from each other by a distance of 10 kilometers and are both located in southern Spain regions of Castile and Andalusia on the northern slopes of the magnificent Guadalquiver River. The urban fabric of the 2 towns reflects the rich heritage of Arabic and Andalusian origin.
The 2 towns became fortresses after they were conquered by the Moorish Arabs. The retained the narrow irregular streets that were already present in the region. Between 1233 and 1234, Ubeda was conquered by a Christian army led by Ferdinand III. Baeza, which was formerly a Roman settlement, was taken overrun by Christian armies between 1226 and 1227. Baeza constituted Public, ecclesiastical and educational buildings while Ubeda was made of aristocratic residences and palaces. Put together, these 2 ensembles complete the picture of a city.
Attractions in Ubeda
- Palace of Francisco de los Cobos
- 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 (Presently a police station)
- Palace of the Marqués de Mancera (Presently a convent)
- Cárcel del Obispo (presently a law court)
- Church of Santa María
Attractions in Baeza
- The Plaza de Santa María
- Cuesta de San Felipe
- The Cañuelo Gate
- The Casas Consistoriales Altas
- The Fountain of Santa María
- The former Seminary of St Philip Neri (presently an administrative offices for the Junta de Andalucía)
- The Jabalquinto Palace
- The Colegio de las Madres Filipenses
- Church of Santa Cruz
These 2 towns are economical stops for a weekend gateway or an excursion from a larger city. If you feel like getting away from big city check them out.
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