THE CASTLE AND ITS HISTORY
The city of Jaen is located at the foot of the Cerro de Santa Catalina, which gives it a peculiar urbanism dominated by slopes which provides spectacular viewpoints that open on the horizon. Towards 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 of its closest landscape such as the Peña de Jaen, Jabalcuz and the Mella de Jaen, all with altitudes above 1000 m. These mountains belong to the most eastern part of Betic mountain range, so they constitute a beautiful and magical natural environnment that offers multiple options to enjoy the outdoors.
Santa Catalina hill where the castle is located, is part of the Santa Catalina periurban park, made up of Santa Catalina, Neveral, Imora and Almendral hills with an area of more than 196 Ha. Inside coexist heritage and cultural elements such as the Islamic trail, the wall and archaeological remains along with other natural resources such as its flora and a fauna, which you can enjoyed during a tour on foot or by bicycle along any of its many trails, as well as the geological formations that provide rocky walls, ideal for climbing.
Viewpoint of Cross of the Castle
Less than 5 minutes from the Castle we find the viewpoint of the Cross, from where you can contemplate spectacular views of the city and its surroundings. Since the time of the Christian conquest, back in the 13th century, there has been crosses in this point, and the nuns of Santa Clara Monastery have taken care for them. At the end of the 19th century, a family of Jaen was in charge of replacing it: Balguerias Family, who donated this new reinforced concrete cross in the 1950s.
From there you can see the entire old town and its monuments, such as the Renaissance Cathedral, medieval churches and unique buildings such as Villardompardo Palace, Old Santo Domingo Convent or the Old San Juan de Dios Hospital. You can also distinguish the expansion areas of the city and even nearby villages such as La Guardia, Mancha Real, Ubeda and Baeza. We can appreciate the impressive mountains of Jaen, spotting mountains such as the Peña de Jaen, Neveral hill, Jabalcuz, Mella, or farther in the distance, the Natural Park of Sierra Magina.