Stories

UNESCO town of Úbeda

by Jorge Sanchez - 3 years, 6 months ago

I visited Úbeda in my way back to Barcelona from Morocco. After disembarking in Málaga (I took a ferry in Melilla), I went up back to my hometown (Barcelona) spending several days in unknown places in my own country. The first one was Úbeda, a city, together with Baeza, that recently had been declared Patrimony of the Humankind. I would stay a long day visiting it, before boarding a night bus to Caravaca, in Murcia province. I started in a square where I read a sign with the name The Nazaries Route, so I understood that Úbeda was a stop in the route from Granada to Las Navas de Tolosa. I also read that the town of Ubeda was founded by the Romans in Caesar Augustus times, then conquered by the Arabs in the VIII century, and liberated by the Christians in the XIII century (the sign sayd that it was re-conquered in the year 1233 by our King Fernando III). According to a legend, Ubeda was founded by a descendant of Noah (yes, the one of the Ark). Behind the sign there is one of the many churches in Ubeda. It was closed and could not see it. Instead, I entered the El Salvador Church (Saint Savior), that I much loved in Úbeda, externally and internally. There is a museum on the right side of the Church, with a Pantheon. It is not expensive and it is worth the visit. On the left side there is a Renaissance Palace, today transformed into a Parador, or Government hotel. Ubeda is located up in a hill. Down you can see many olives, kilometers of olives, the main economy in the Andalucia province of Jaen, where Úbeda belongs. The statue before the Tribunal is devoted to Francisco de Vilalpando. He was an important architect, sculptor, goldsmith and Humanist from the XVI century. He finished his academic studies in the prestigious University of Alcala de Henares (UNESCO Patrimony of the Humankind), the second most important university in Spain after Salamanca’s. The Hospital de Santiago (Saint James), erected during the XVI century, is a must to visit in Úbeda. Inside there are precious frescoes, murals, a Pantheon, a Palace, a Church beautifully decorated, a gracious central patio with a fountain… and many other wonders. It is considered the Escorial of Andalucia. This Hospital is the main tourist highlight in Úbeda. Apart from all its wonders, this fantastic Hospital shelters a wonderful Public Library, with free Internet. Finally I visited the Church San Nicolás de Bari, erected in the middle of the XIV century in honor of the Italian San Nicola di Bari (not to be confused with the Italian singer Nicola di Bari).


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