Ubeda Tourist Attractions
The town of Úbeda, the Moorish Obdah, lies near the upper Guadalquivir amid extensive olive plantations. Its numerous Renaissance buildings, forming a remarkably unified and harmonious whole, have earned it the name of the "Andalusian Salamanca". After its reconquest by Christian forces in 1234 Úbeda became one of the main bases in the fight to recover Andalusia from the Moors.
Plaza de Vázquez Molina
The magnificent central feature of Úbeda is the long Plaza de Vázquez Molina, surrounded by remarkable Renaissance buildings.
The finest building in Úbeda's Plaza de Vázquez Molina is the Renaissance church of El Salvador on the northeast side, built in the first half of the 16th century to the design of Diego de Siloé and Andrés de Vandelvira. The west front with its rich sculptural decoration is flanked by two low round towers. The large semicircular Capilla Mayor with a high dome, of impressive size even from outside, is closed by a superb choir screen and has a retablo with a carved "Transfiguration" by Alonso Berruguete. The sacristy, by Vandelvira, is equally magnificent.
Casa de los Cadenas
On the right hand side of the Plaza de Vázquez Molina in Úbeda are the Parador Nacional Condestable Dávalos, in an old noble mansion, and the Casa de los Cadenas, now the Town Hall, which was designed by Vandelvira; over the entrance is a coat of arms supported by two lions.
Palacio de Mancera
Diagonally opposite Úbeda's Town Hall, on the left hand side of the southeastern part of the Plaza de Vázquez Molina, is a 16th century palace built by the Marqués de Mancera, Viceroy of Peru.
Cárcel del Obispo
On the left of the Santa María de los Reales Alcázares can be seen the old Cárcel del Obispo, the Bishop's Prison.
To the north of Plaza Vázquez de Molina in Úbeda, in Plaza 1 de Mayo, is the church of San Pablo, built at the time of the Reconquista, with an apse of 1380. The main doorway still shows Romanesque features; the south doorway is Isabelline. Set into the outside wall is a fountain of 1559. The most notable feature of the interior is the Plateresque Capilla del Camarero Vago.
Hospital de Santiago
In Calle del Obispo Cobos, in the western part of Úbeda, is the Hospital de Santiago, a long range of buildings designed by Vandelvira (1587). A walk round the town will reveal many other old mansions, usually bearing the coat of arms of the family.
Sierra de Cazorla, Spain
From Peal de Becerro (40km/25mi southeast of Úbeda), C 328 runs 15km/9mi east to the picturesque little town of Cazorla, dominated by its castle. This is the chief place in the Sierra de Cazorla, in which the Guadalquivir rises, and a good base for walks and climbs in the sierra and in the Coto Nacional de Cazorla nature park. From here a narrow road crosses the Puerto de las Palomas (1,290m/4,232ft), with magnificent scenery (possibility of an overnight stop in the Parador Nacional El Adelantado), and through the Guadalquivir gorge to Villacarrillo, from which it is 35km/22mi back to Úbeda.