THE CASTLE AND ITS HISTORY

Saint Catalina

Legend has it that while the Christian king Ferdinand III was besieging Jaen in 1246, he was about to resigned to raise the siege of it again, after having tried to seize it on several occasions without any success. The night before his withdrawal, Santa Catalina of Alexandria appeared to him in a dream, showing him the keys of Jaen. This fact was taken by the king as a revelation where the Saint was announcing that, if he persisted in it, he would soon conquer the city, until then in the hands of Muslim King Alhamar, the future king Nasrid of Granada. The next day, the Muslims gave in the fortress to the Christian troops. Fernando III was so grateful to her that he declared Santa Catalina the patron saint of the city, and he named the newly conquered fortress “Santa Catalina”.

Over time a chapel was built in the fortress in honour of Santa Catalina, so every November 25th , we celebrate the feast  of Santa Catalina of Alexandria, it is a public holiday in the city. A popular pilgrimage was instituted that takes place on the hill that bears her name and that remembers that fact.