THE CASTLE AND ITS HISTORY
The city of Jaén is located at the foot of the Santa Catalina Hill, which gives it a characteristic urbanism dominated by slopes which provides amazing viewpoints that open on the horizon. So that to the north the plain of the Guadalquivir depression extends, where olive groves and orchards predominate along the Guadalbullon river. To the south, on the other hand, there are hills and mountains so popular and representative such as Peña de Jaén, Jabalcuz and Mella de Jaén, all are over 1000 m. These mountains belong to the most eastern part of Betic mountain range, so they form an extraordinary beautiful natural environnment that offers multiple outdoor options to enjoy.
Santa Catalina hill where the castle is located, is part of Santa Catalina periurban park, made up of Santa Catalina, Neveral, Imora and Almendral hills which represent an area of more than 196 Ha. Inside it cultural heritage elements such as the Islamic trail, the medieval wall and other archaeological remains, coexist together with natural resources such as its flora and a fauna. If you take a tour on food or by bicycle you can enjoyed it all as well as the geological formations that provide rocky walls, especially on the south side of the hill, which are ideal for climbing.
Cross Viewpoint of the Castle
Less than 5 minutes from the Castle the viewpoint of the Cross rises, where the scenery will take your breath away. Since the time of the Christian conquest, back in the 13th century, there have been crosses in this point. The nuns of Santa Clara Monastery have been changing them for centuries, when needed. However, at the end of the 19th century, Balguerías Family got in charge of it and tThey order the building of a new more resistant concrete cross in the 1950s.
From the cross you can see the old town and its monuments, such as the Renaissance Cathedral, medieval churches and unique buildings such as Villardompardo Palace, Santo Domingo Convent or the San Juan de Dios Hospital. You can also distinguish the new neighbourhoods of the city and even nearby villages such as La Guardia, Mancha Real, Úbeda and Baeza. We can appreciate the impressive mountains of Jaén, spotting mountains such as Peña de Jaén, Neveral hill, Jabalcuz, Mella, or farther in the distance, the Natural Park of Sierra Magina.