Jaén, Spain
Jaén is a city in south-central Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, the name is derived from the Arabic word Jayyan, (crossroads of caravans). It is the capital of the province
Provinces of Spain
Spain and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces .In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian , sing. província.*Galician , sing. provincia.*Basque |Galicia]] — are not also the capitals of provinces...

 of Jaén. It is located in the autonomous community
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

 of Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

The inhabitants of the city are known as Jiennenses. Its population is 117,540 (2006), about 1/6 of the population of the province.
In the last years Jaén has had a great increase of cultural tourism.
Jaén is also known as the World Capital of Olive Oil
Olive oil
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive , a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps...

, because it's the biggest producer of this liquid gold (as the locals refer to it).
The layout of Jaén is determined by its adjustment to the hills of the Santa Catalina mountains, with steep, narrow streets, in the historical central city district.
The city of Jaén is the administrative and industrial centre for the province. Industrial establishments in the city include chemical works, tanneries, distilleries, cookies factories and textile factories. On April 1, 1937, the city was bombed
Bombing of Jaén
The Bombing of Jaén was an aerial attack on the city of Jaén on April 1, 1937 , during the Spanish Civil War, by the Condor Legion of Nazi Germany, who fought for the rebels...

 by the Nazis.


The Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 of the city is: (Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

) "Muy Noble y muy Leal Ciudad de Jaén, Guarda y Defendimiento de los Reinos de Castilla", (English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

) "Very Noble and very Loyal City of Jaen, Guard and Defense of the Kingdoms of Castile".
This title was given by the king Henry II of Castile to the city of Jaen, due to the privileges that the city had, and to the role that the city was playing in the defense of the kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 against the Moors.


Saint Catalina's Castle
Saint Catalina's Castle
Saint Catalina's Castle is a castle that sits on the Cerro de Santa Catalina overlooking the Spanish city of Jaén. It is now the site of a parador.-History:...

(Castillo de Santa Catalina) sits on the top of a hill overlooking the city. Previously there existed a fortress of Arabic origin (Abrehui's castle), of which some remains still exist. The current construction is of Christian origin, raised after the conquest of the city by Ferdinand III of Castile
Ferdinand III of Castile
Saint Ferdinand III, T.O.S.F., was the King of Castile from 1217 and León from 1230. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. He finished the work done by his maternal grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the...

, called the Saint, in 1246.

Jaén Cathedral
Jaén Cathedral
The Assumption of the Virgin Cathedral is a Spanish Renaissance cathedral located in Santa María Square in Jaén, Spain, opposite the Town Hall and the Episcopal Palace.Construction of the cathedral began in 1249 on the ruins of an ancient mosque...

, one of the most important Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 style cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

s, began construction in 1570 and was completed in 1802. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, and it was built to shelter the relic
In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial...

 of The Holy Face, or Veil of Veronica
Veil of Veronica
The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium , often called simply "The Veronica" and known in Italian as the Volto Santo or Holy Face is a Catholic relic, which, according to legend, bears the likeness of the Face of Jesus not made by human hand The Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium (Latin for sweat-cloth),...

, lodged at the major chapel and exposed to the public every Friday. Due to the length of time in its construction, different artistic styles can be appreciated, the most prominent being Renaissance; Andrés de Vandelvira the most important architect. He is the greatest exponent of the Andalusian Renaissance. It aspires to be listed as a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...


Arab Baths, the most significant remnants of the Moorish era of Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, are the largest Arab baths preserved in Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. They can be visited under Villardompardo's Palace (another important monument in the city).

Other important monuments are the Museum of Arts and Popular Customs, the International Museum of Naïf Art, San Andrés's Chapel, the Provincial Museum of Jaén (which shelters an important collection of archaeological Iberian remains), Saint Ildefonso's church, etc.


The city has the University of Jaén
University of Jaén
The University of Jaén is a public university based in Jaén, Andalucía, Spain. It is a young university established by Law 5 / 1993 of the Andalusian Parliament of July 1, 1993. In addition to the principal campus, Campus Lagunillas, located in Jaén, the university has two satellite campuses in...

, which nowadays consists of approximately 18.000 pupils and 27 degrees courses. This university is present in the city, in the Campus "Las Lagunillas", but also is present in Úbeda
Úbeda is a town in the province of Jaén in Spain's autonomous community of Andalusia, with some 35,600 inhabitants. Both this city and the neighboring city of Baeza benefited from extensive patronage in the early 16th century resulting in the construction of a series of Renaissance style palaces...

 and Linares with only some of the degree courses. The university is very modern with a large foreign student population.


The language spoken in Jaén is the official language of Spain, Spanish. The variety of Spanish spoken in this province displays some of the characteristics of Andalusian
Andalusian Spanish
The Andalusian varieties of Spanish are spoken in Andalusia, Ceuta, Melilla and Gibraltar. They include perhaps the most distinct of the southern variants of peninsular Spanish, differing in many respects from northern varieties, and also from Standard Spanish...

 speech, such as dropping of final -s in plural formation: gafa for gafas (and consequent final vowel opening) in the word "glasses", or dropping of /d/ in intervocalic position in regular participles of verbs: e.g. acabao for acabado in the participle of the word "finished".

Some of these variants can be consulted in the Diccionario de Vocabulario Andaluz compiled by the local lexicographer Alcalá Venceslada, which was reprinted by the University of Jaén some years ago. This dictionary also compiles some other variants of Andalusian present in other parts of the autonomous community.

There are different expressions typical of the area, namely the interjection "ea!" (also present in other dialectal variants) which has no particular exact meaning or o "lavística!" /la'vistika/, which is believed to be a contraction of the expression "la Vírgen de Tíscar", a popular virgin of the province, although there are not exact data to confirm the origin of the last expression which is, nevertheless, widely extended among speakers of the province.


It has 26 service lines that connect the different neighborhoods of the capital, being able to use the metro card consortium. Buses are characterized by yellow.


The gastronomy of Jaen is very varied, emphasizing local dishes such as the pipirrana (tomato, green peppers, breadcrumbs, garlic shoots, olive oil, vinegar, salt and hard-boiled egg); "spinach a la Jaén" (garlic, croutons, spiced sausage, bayleaf, egg, orange zest and vinegar); "rice a la Jaén" (very weak), "veal with chopped garlic", "trout from the rivers of Jaén" (trout, butter, chunks of ham with bacon, parsley, white wine and salt), "ajo blanco a la Jaén" (raw almond, olive oil, eggs, garlic, salt, vinegar and water).

Among the most well-known confectionery of Jaén is "rice pudding", "gachas of Jaen" (a sort of porridge), "pestiños", "gusanillos" and "ochíos".

In Jaén the eating of tapas
Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold or warm ....

 is very common; numerous bars exist where for the price of a beer (around €1.50) one can purchase a tapa, which consists of a small plate of food for one person.


The football team of the city is Real Jaén
Real Jaén
Real Jaén Club de Fútbol, S.A.D. is a Spanish football team based in Jaén, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Founded in 1922, it plays in Segunda División B - Group 4, holding home matches at Nuevo Estadio de La Victoria, with a capacity of 12,800 spectators.-Season to season:----*3 seasons...

 and they play in the New Victoria Stadium.

The city has two major sporting facilities: the Fuentezuelas and the Salobreja, together with the university sports facilities. Trekking and climbing associations also exist, such as El Lagarto and Jabalcuz.

Also of note is a Green Route called Vía Verde del Aceite, which corresponds to an ancient tracing of the iron seam from the beginning of the 20th century that united Jaén with Puente Genil
Puente Genil
Puente Genil is a village in the Spanish province of Córdoba, situated about 45 miles from the city of Córdoba. It has a population of 30,033 ....

 (Córdoba province) known as "The Oil Train".

There are various competitions which have a great international importance, for example, those related to chess and athletics.


The most important event is the International Piano Competition Premio Jaén (in Spanish: Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio Jaén) that is the oldest and most important piano competition in Spain. It started in 1953 with Pablo Castillo García-Negrete, an architect who began to donate the first cash prizes of only some thousands of pesetas. Nowadays the prize consist of 57.000€ and the recording of classical music albums in professional studios. The last winner of this significant competition was the Chinese pianist Yin Yu Qin, in 2008, in the fiftieth competition.

There are other events likes the Ciclos de Rock and the Lagarto Rock Festival.

External links

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