The fortress played an essential role in guarding La Losa pass, one of the routes that connected the Guadalquivir Valley and the Castilian plateau, in the Middle Ages. Today, a few remains of this fortress, located in the very heart of Despeñaperros Natural Park, still stand.
The fortress numbers amongst the oldest in Europe and is one of the finest examples of Moorish military architecture. The fortification stands in the old quarter of Baños de la Encina, declared a Heritage Site in 1969.
Bailén boasts a modern museum focusing on the famous battle that took place in the surrounding area. Visitors will learn more about a key episode within contemporary Spanish history.
The castle, which played a pivotal role in the conflicts between Moors and Christians, also gained protagonism during the Peninsular War. From this privileged position, visitors can contemplate unique views taking in a large portion of the province, the city of Jaén and, most notably, its Cathedral.
The castle is one of the best indications of the power attained by the Order of Calatrava in the Middle Ages, charged by King Ferdinand III, The Saint, with protecting the western border of the kingdom of Jaén against the Nasrid kingdom of Granada.
The fortress represents one of the most complex defensive systems of al-Andalus and one of the most important cultural centres of the region following Christian conquest. Enter its walls, cross through its old gates, travel along its narrow streets…
Built on the summit of the hill from which it takes its name, the Castle of Vilches affords travellers the opportunity to take in magnificent views of the Guadalén and Guarrizas valleys, in the area lying between Sierra Morena, to the north, and the Guadalquivir Valley, to the south.
Amongst the great abundance of historical treasures amassed in Cástulo we find the Castle of Santa Eufemia, one of the last indications of the importance of this city that, at the end of the Middle Ages, would definitively disappear.
The setting of the celebrated romance of the troubadour Macías, this castle, of Moorish origin, is one of the main attractions of Arjonilla. The legend, which inspired writers such as Lope de Vega and Larra, tells the tale of the tragic love between the young Macías and Doña Elvira.
Arjona was the birthplace of Alhamar. Vestiges of the splendour of this era are conserved, amongst which attention should be drawn to the cistern that once served the Castle of Arjona, which has recently been restored and turned into a museum.
In Lopera, we find one of the province of Jaén’s finest examples of a castle constructed by the Military Order of Calatrava. Declared a Monument of Cultural Interest in 1991, this fortress retains its original perimeter walls.
Impressive, both in terms of its height and excellent state of conservation, this is one of the most beautiful and magnificent defensive structures in Andalusia.
The Castles of the Town and of Rock formed one of the most important defensive enclaves in the province of Jaén. The remains that can be visited within the old quarter are remnants of the keep of the Castle of the Town.
Today, a few remains of this fortress, located in the very heart of Despeñaperros Natural Park, still stand, within a setting of great environmental richness, particularly appealing for nature lovers or hikers.
For more than two hundred years, the castle served as a Moorish defence and watchtower, overlooking what is now known as Despeñaperros pass.
In this particularly beautiful nature spot, visitors can take in various features, from vestiges of the early Iberian peoples to the curiosity of the various caves dug out of the rock and, of course, the medieval fortress, built in the 9th century by the Almohads.
Tobaruela is an example of the castle/residence reflecting the power achieved by a number of noble families.
The old quarter, declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 2007, is of great interest, wherein attention should be drawn to the stately homes, churches, picturesque streets and a number of towers and stretches of wall that point to the importance of the town in the medieval era.
This rural castle was built by the Moors some time around the 12th century and was subsequently remodelled by the Castilian forces following its conquest. It was a protagonist in the borderland sorties involving Moorish and Christian troops and in the civil conflicts wherein the nobles opposed King Henry IV of Castile.
According to tradition, it was in the keep of this castle that the earliest book on bullfighting conserved in Spain was written. At one point, the keep even housed an olive oil factory.
Santa Elena La Carolina Vilches Linares Baños de la Encina Bailén Andújar Arjonilla Arjona Lopera Porcuna Torredelcampo Jaén Torredonjimeno Martos Alcaudete Alcalá la Real Linares Vilches Santa Elena
Santa Elena
La Carolina
Vilches
Linares
Baños de la Encina
Bailén
Andújar
Arjonilla
Arjona
Lopera
Porcuna
Torredelcampo
Jaén
Torredonjimeno
Martos
Alcaudete
Alcalá la Real
Linares
Vilches
Santa Elena
Sobre la ruta
fiestas-medievales

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