A Long Day, But Worth It.
The local Anglican church to which my wife belongs, organises trips out across the autumn and winter. Last Thursday we joined the visit to the towns of Baeza and Ubeda in the far northeast of Andalucia. This involved a total of nine hours of travelling in order to spend a couple of hours in each town.
Both of these towns reached their peak in the sixteenth century. As a result, they are considered to be gems of Renaissance architecture, a verdict that is especially justified in the case of Ubeda, the larger of the two, which has a much more extensive old quarter than Baeza. There were many palaces, churches and municipal buildings from this era, but I have chosen to show La Iglesia de San Pablo in Ubeda, built like so many others on the site of a mosque, and dating in part from the thirteenth century.
Ubeda's other distinction lies in it being the first town in Andalucia to be reconquered by the Christians in 1212. Interestingly, instead of pressing south from Ubeda towards the Nasrid seat of power in Granada, the Christian armies travelled west along the Guadalquivir, taking Jaen (1212), Córdoba (1236) and eventually Sevilla (1248). The Kingdom of Granada which stretched south from the Guadalquivir to the coast, and from Alemria in the east to Tarifa in the west survived, and indeed flourished, for some 250 years until the defeat of Boabdil by the armies of Ferninand and Isabel in 1492 - the 2nd of January, to be precise.