Baeza

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This article is about the town in Spain. For the settlement in Ecuador, see Baeza, Ecuador.
Baeza
Municipality
CondeRomanones.jpg
Flag of Baeza
Flag
Coat of arms of Baeza
Coat of arms
Baeza is located in Andalusia
Baeza
Baeza
Location in Andalusia
Baeza is located in Spain
Baeza
Baeza
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 37°59′N 3°28′W / 37.983°N 3.467°W / 37.983; -3.467
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Andalusia
Province Jaén
Comarca La Loma
Judicial district Baeza
Government
 • Mayor Leocadio Marín Rodríguez (PSOE)
Area
 • Total 194.3 km2 (75.0 sq mi)
Elevation 769 m (2,523 ft)
Population (2009)
 • Total 16,253
 • Density 84/km2 (220/sq mi)
Demonym Baezanos
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 23440
Website Official website
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Santa María fountain and cathedral of Baeza
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 522
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2003 (27th Session)

Baeza is a town of approximately 16,200 inhabitants in Andalusia, Spain, in the province of Jaén, perched on a cliff in the "Loma de Úbeda", a mountain range between the river Guadalquivir on the south and its tributary the Guadalimar on the north. It is chiefly known today as having many of the best-preserved examples of Italian Renaissance architecture in Spain. UNESCO added Baeza and Úbeda to the World Heritage Sites list in 2003.

History[edit]

The town has existed since Roman times, when it was called Beatia. It became the seat of a bishop between 656 and 675, when the see of Castulo was transferred to Beatia, and remained such until the 13th century, when the see was transferred to Jaén. No longer a residential bishopric, Beatia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[1]

In the Middle Ages Baeza was a flourishing Moorish city, said to contain 50,000 inhabitants, but it fell to the forces of Ferdinand III of Castile in 1227. The Jaén and Úbeda gates, and the arch of Baeza, are among the remains of its Moorish fortifications.

In the 16th century, Baeza and nearby Úbeda grew rich from the production of textiles, and local nobles hired important architects, such as Andrés de Vandelvira, to design new palaces, churches and public squares in the fashionable Italian style. The economy collapsed in the 17th century, which had the fortunate side effect of preserving Baeza's Renaissance architectural legacy, because few newer structures were built.

Main sights[edit]

Baeza's sights include:

  • Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), a Plateresque building originally built as Court House and Prison, hence its two independent doors.
  • The university, established in 1538, which is now a secondary school
  • Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady, built above a former Moorish mosque. It was converted to the Christian rite by King Alfonso VII of Castile in 1147. After another period as a mosque, it was restored to Christianity in 1227 by Ferdinand III of Castile. The most ancient part of the edifice are the lower part of the bell tower, of cubic shape, and three Islamic arches, now hidden. The current edifice was built from 1529, in Gothic style, including a nave and two aisles, pilasters and crossed vaults. The tower was remade in 1549 and the Chapel of St. Michael was added in 1560. The whole construction was completed by Andrés de Vandelvira, who added Renaissance elements.
  • Arco de Villalar, erected to celebrate battle of Villalar in 1521 on the occasion of emperor Charles V's visit to the town in 1526
  • Romanesque church of Santa Cruz. It has a nave and two aisles, with a semicircular apse; one of the side walls include a Visigothic arch.
  • Palacio de Jabalquinto. The entrance gate is sided by two cylindrical pilasters with Plateresque capitals with mocárabes, and between them are decorations in final Gothic style. In the interior are a Renaissance courtyard and a Baroque staircase.
  • Squares of Plaza de España and the Paseo de la Constitucíon
  • Chapel of St. Francis, founded in 1538. It's the ruins of a Renaissance building.
  • Gothic church of St. Paul, with a Renaissance portal. It has a nave and two aisles with Gothic-style chapels. Pablo de Olavide is buried here.
  • Úbeda Gate, of which only one of the three original arcades has remained.
  • Fountain of St. Mary (1564)
  • Fountain of the Lions, coming from the Iberian-Roman city of Cástulo. It has been suggested that it could represent Himilce, wife of the Carthaginian general Hannibal.
  • Seminary of St. Philip Neri (1660)

Gallery[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Baeza is 327 kilometres (203 miles) by highway south of Madrid. It has a RENFE rail station (Linares - Baeza) 15 kilometres (9 miles) southwest on the Linares-Almeria railway and bus transportation from Granada, Málaga and Madrid.

The nearest international airports are in Granada, 132 kilometres (82 miles) south and Málaga, 241 kilometres (150 miles) to the southwest.

Notable people[edit]

Baeza was the birthplace of the sculptor and painter Gaspar Becerra. Also, two of the most important mystics and writers of the sixteenth century resided in Baeza, Saint John of Ávila and Saint John of the Cross. The modernist poet Antonio Machado worked as a teacher in Baeza from 1912 until 1919, and it is believed that his most notable prose work, Juan de Mairena, was inspired by his experience there.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Baeza is twinned with:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 847
  2. ^ (French) La Dépêche Du Midi. "Carcassonne se trouve une jumelle". Retrieved June 26, 2012. 

External links[edit]