Jaén is the capital of the province of Jaén and has more than 117,000 inhabitants. The city has proclaimed itself as the World Capital of Olive Oil, thanks to the large concentration of olive tree plantations. Income of Jaén comes from the services sector and agriculture. Tourism in Jaén isn’t as developed as in other parts of Andalusia but bit by bit more people are discovering Jaén as a tourist destination. The people from Jaén are known as jiennenses and you can find almost all of them in the streets during the Feria de San Lucas in Octobre when they goto visit concerts and bullfighting. The city is known for its many legends, of which the legend of Lagarto de la Magdalena is the most famous one. There are also legends that speak of ghosts in the Castillo de Santa Catalina and in the cathedral.
The Iberians were the first to establish a settlement in the 6th century b.C. The Romans converted this village into a city and named it Aurgi. But the city really blossomed under reign of the Arabs. They fortified the city and it became a tranquil place where arabs and jews lived together in peace. The arts of poetry and music developed rapidly in this time. The Arab name for the city became Yayyan. In 1212 the Battle of Navas de Tolosa took place and the Christians approached the city. The Arab king of that time Muhammad Al-Hamar decided to make a pact with Fernando III of Castilla in 1246. He agreed to cede the city in exchange for remaining in power in Granada. The fight against the Arabs continued and Jaén became an important base for the battles that took place in the south of Andalusia. But despite this prosperity the city was also looted two times, in 1300 and 1369. The Christians obligated everyone to convert to Christianity and those that did not follow these rules were expelled after the reconquest of 1492. The city was christianized under Fernando III, which meant that the mosque was converted into a church, construction of an Alcázar (fortified castle) began and the seat of the Archbishop was moved to Jaén. The city’s importance increased in the 16th century and had more than 22,000 inhabitants. It was one of the most important cities of Castilla in that time. The renaissance brought a new impulse to the city and many new buildings were constructed like the cathedral. Cultural growth of the city also increased and many artisans came to live in the area near the cathedral. During the 19th century the city suffered from an economic crisis, from which it never really fully recovered. Nowadays Jaén is a regular province capital with an economy based on agriculture and the production of olive oil.
What are you looking for in Jaén?