This route delves into the history of the ancient kingdom of Granada that, from the thirteenth century to the fifteenth century, was ruled by the Nasrid dynasty. The remains of fortifications and castles along the route recall the territorial struggles between Muslims and Christians that took place in the area.. It begins in the town of Navas de Tolosa, crosses cities like Úbeda, Baeza and Jaén, and ends in Granada. The itinerary goes by, further, through beautiful natural areas such as Sierra Morena, Sierra Magina or Sierra de Cazorla y Segura. This tour, which is part of the Routes of El Legado Andalusí, Council of Europe's Great Cultural Itinerary is designated.
- Navas de Tolosa
- The Carolina
- Holm oak baths
- Bailén and Mengibar
- Western countryside of Jaén
- Linares, Baeza and Úbeda
- Jódar and Mancha Real
- The Guard of Jaén, Cambil and Huelma
- Wildlifeguard and Piñar
- Deinfontes, Albote and Macarena
Navas de Tolosa
The initial section goes from Sierra Morena to the banks of the Guadalquivir, along about 70 kilometres. This part of the tour begins in the town of Las Navas de Tolosa, where Christians and Muslims faced each other in a decisive battle for the future of al-Andalus. In its vicinity, remains of the fortresses, attest to the strategic importance of this plaza, located next to the Despeñaperros Natural Park.
Direction: Navas de Tolosa
Avoiding oak forests, olive and vine you come to La Carolina, that stands tall with a neoclassical architecture. For its privileged situation and good communications, It is the natural door of Andalusia through the Despeñaperros Natural Park.
Direction: The Carolina
Holm oak baths
The next stop is in Baños de la Encina, where more bits of history are kept, as a remarkable fortification and a good example of religious architecture. A visit to its Caliph period castle is essential in this town..
Direction: Holm oak baths
Bailén and Mengibar
The next destination is Bailén, Andalusian heritage town with an important artisan tradition, which has among its main attractions the Palace of the Counts of Benavente and the Church of La Encarnación. Likewise, We recommend visiting its numerous monuments that commemorate the Napoleonic battle that took place in the town.
And later we will reach Mengibar, whose current location dates from the Muslim era
The route continues in Andújar, town that keeps the Andalusian essence in every corner of its old town. The remains of the wall, the mosque converted into the church of Santa Marina or the Clock Tower, are essential visits, legacy of that period that coexist with constructions of other styles, in addition to numerous manor houses and palaces. In its surroundings the Natural Park of Sierra de Andújar extends.
Western countryside of Jaén: Arjona, Pork, Torredonjimeno, Martos and Torredelcampo
From this point on, the route runs through the countryside towards Jaén, covering others 70 kilometres. The first locality is Arjona, cradle of the Nasrid dynasty that founded the kingdom of Granada, and later Porcuna, where the keep is still preserved, where Boabdil was imprisoned, last king of Granada, and where numerous churches house a good sample of styles. The landscape is dressed in watchtowers until reaching Torredonjimeno, Almohad town of origin in which the spectacular facade of the Town Hall stands out, one of the most admired examples of Andalusian civil architecture. Martos was consolidated in Andalusian times as a sentinel of the southern countryside, as the ruins of its two castles proclaim. Torredelcampo is located a few kilometers from Jaén, where a delicious pastry is made according to the Andalusian recipes, further, remnants of its Iberian past emerge in its surroundings, romano, Visigoth and Muslim.
Linares, Baeza and Úbeda
After visiting Linares, second city of the province, one of the most beautiful towns on the route is reached, Baeza and Úbeda, Declared World Heritage cities by UNESCO. Numerous monuments have made them a jewel of the Andalusian Renaissance, among which the footprint of the architect Andrés de Vandelvira stands out.
Jódar and Mancha Real
At the foot of Sierra Mágina is the town of Jódar, where the oldest castle on the Peninsula is preserved. Jimena has also been inhabited by remote villages, as reflected in the cave paintings of La Graja cave. His castle, of Andalusian origin, it was one of the main defenses of the Order of Calatrava against the Nasrid kingdom. Following the route we arrive at Mancha Real, which constitutes a beautiful town in which stand out façades of stately houses emblazoned with coats of arms.
Jaén is finally reached, city that began to emerge from the 9th century when it relieved the Guard in the capital of this district of al-Andalus. Its main insignia are the castle, located on the mount of Santa Catalina, and its monumental cathedral.
The Guard of Jaén, Cambil and Huelma
From there the last section is approached until reaching Granada. After La Guardia de Jaén, small town of glorious past, you reach Cambil, another stronghold of al-Andalus, where two castles of Nasrid origin stand out. Huelma is also chaired by its strength. From the castle you can see the tower of the Church of the Immaculate, one of the most beautiful samples of the religious architecture of the province. The trail of its past is preserved in the old Jewish quarter, today Santo neighborhood, in its sources and in its stately homes.
Direction: The Guard of Jaén
Guadahortuna and Piñar
Already in the province of Granada, the itinerary continues through Guadahortuna and Piñar, where is the cave of Las Ventanas, a limestone complex that impresses the visitor. The castle keeps the echoes of the battles between Nasrids and Christians that this town witnessed at the gates of Granada. Guarded by watchtowers and fortresses, Iznalloz reached its peak as a strategic plaza for the defense of the Nasrid kingdom.
Deifontes, Albote and Macarena
Deifontes appear in the heart of the Vega de Granada, Albotă, battlefield in countless outposts to the Nasrid city, and Maracena, last town before reaching Granada, last Muslim redoubt until the capture of the city by the Catholic Monarchs.