Frailes, Spain

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Coat of arms of Frailes
Coat of arms
Frailes - Location.png
Frailes is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 37°29′11″N 3°50′14″W / 37.48639°N 3.83722°W / 37.48639; -3.83722Coordinates: 37°29′11″N 3°50′14″W / 37.48639°N 3.83722°W / 37.48639; -3.83722
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Andalucía
Province Jaén
Comarca Sierra Sur
Founded Pre-Roman
 • Alcalde José Manuel Garrido Romero (PP)
 • Total 41,37 km2 (1,597 sq mi)
Elevation 980 m (3,220 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 1,681
 • Density 40,63/km2 (10,520/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Frailero
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 23690
Dialing code (+34) 953 59 3x xx

Frailes is a municipality in the Spanish province of Jaén, autonomous community of Andalucia, with a total area of 41,37 km2, a population of 1775 inhabitants (INE, 2007) and a population density of 43,41 inhab/ km2. It has been immortalised by the British writer, Michael Jacobs, in his 2003 book, The Factory of Light.


Frailes is located 89 km south of the capital city, Jaén. At a height of 974 metres above sea level. Frailes municipal district includes the territories of los Bailadores, Los Baños, Los Barrancos, Cañada de Alcalá, Cañada de Nogueras, Cerrillo el Ciego, Majada Abrigada, El Nogueral, Las Parras, Puerto Blanco, Los Rosales y La Solana de la Parra. Frailes is located at the Sierra Sur de Jaén and its territory comprises primarily mountain ranges.


The origins of this municipality date back to the Prehistory, when Rome must have been present, as the remains of Terra Sigillata attest to. During the Spanish Muslim era there are not many records of the existence of a Muslim arrival to Frailes. Nonetheless, it wasn't until the 16th century when we started to have record of the Siege of Frailes: on 15 August 1341, Alfonso XI conquered Alcalá la Real, to whose alfoz (a group of villages) belonged Alfraylas,which from then on was incorporated to Castille. During the middle of the 16th century, the Hermitage of Santa Lucia was built next to the first Christian settlements in Frailes, partly, with the help of the contribution of Pedro de Valencia.

In 1621, the surroundings of the Hermitage of Santa Lucia was named Huerta de Santa Lucía, where the ongoing expansion of settlements took place. At the end of the 18th century, the Hermitage became a Parish. Hence, it also became the centre of the village. During the first half of the 20th century, the village will live splendeour times yet after the Civil War and the exodus of a great part of the rural population to the cities, Frailes' population would be halved to 2,000 inhabitants.


Frailes' gastronomy is marked by the rural character it possesses. There's a remarkable presence of pork dishes and the traditional blood sausage, chorizo, salchichon and derivatives. Other dishes and stews such as the beans stew, ropavieja, migas or encebollado, and others like the collejas omelette or the remojón.

Among the village's desserts, the mantas, borrachuelos, polvorones and the guindas en aguardiente are the most important. Every meal is accompanied with some of the local wine, whose quality is remarkable and that is the reason why many cultural and gastronomical events are held every year.


Fiesta del Vino in Frailes, Jaén.
  • Fiesta del Vino.- During the first half of March, Frailes brings together culture and gastrnomy, past and present. This tradition dates back to the 18th century, but it faces with modernity the 21st century.
  • Romería to the Virgen de la Cabeza hermitage.- on the last Sunday of April, this romeria to Hoya del Salobral is held to celebrate the day of the Jaen's patron saint.
  • August festival.- Fair and popular verbena which is held to refresh from the Summer rigours in the eras del Mecedero.
  • Festival in honour of San Pedro.- 29 June, held in Spring, to celebrate the day of Frailes' patron saint.
  • Festival in honour of Santa Lucía.- 13 December, this is the other patron saint of the municipality, she is the sight protector and to exalt her, a mass and a procession are held.

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