Countries<Spain<Andalucía [Andalusia]<Úbeda< Conjuntos monumentales renacentistas de Úbeda y Baeza

Conjuntos monumentales renacentistas de Úbeda y Baeza(Úbeda)

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The Renaissance monumental complexes of Úbeda and Baeza, both located in the historic centre of each city, constitute a magnificent example of Renaissance urban planning and architecture that was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003.

Located in the province of Jaén, the exceptional nature of these two cities, separated by only nine kilometres, lies in the way they have developed and structured themselves throughout history in a dual manner. With their own traits and differing nuances, their complementarity made them function in some aspects as a single unit. History passed through both towns in an analogous way without one overshadowing the other, and in both we can find signs of their Hispano-Muslim past and of the medieval Christian city, which is why both conserve important remains of their respective walled enclosures, with the important reforms that during the Renaissance consolidate their definitive image being very significant.

During the 16th century Úbeda and Baeza achieved their greatest singularity as cities and it is also at this time that this duality is most evident from the formal point of view: thus, while in Baeza an important and numerous public civil and religious architecture was developed, Úbeda reflects in its palaces the power and wealth of the nobility. Andrés de Vandelvira was the main architect of this dual enclave and the figure who developed the art of Stereotomy - the art of stone cutting. His work is the greatest exponent of the possibilities that the mastery of traditional stonemasonry, translated with absolute freedom into classical forms, offered to the Hispanic way of building architecture in the Renaissance.

The monumental nuclei of each city constitute the representative spaces of the Renaissance as a full cultural expression of both cities.

In Úbeda this coincides with the Plaza Vázquez de Molina and its surroundings. This area includes a group of significant buildings from the work of Andrés de Vandelvira, which make up a unitary urban space, an exponent of the most qualified Renaissance transformation of the city and the setting around which some of the most outstanding religious monuments of this period are located: The Sacred Chapel of El Salvador or the church of Santa María de los Reales Alcázares, and among the civil buildings we should highlight the palaces of Deán Ortega, the Marquis of Mancera or Vázquez de Molina, the current seat of the town hall.

Baeza, for its part, also bears witness to its splendid past, and the Renaissance monumental ensemble is shown through the spatial axis that integrates the Cathedral, in the Plaza de Santa María, with the buildings of the University, the former Seminary and the former Jesuit College. Other outstanding works include the Plateresque façade of the Town Hall - formerly the 16th century prison - and the Plaza del Pópulo, also known as the Plaza de los Leones, where the former Audiencia and Carnicerías Reales (Royal Butchers) are located, or the convent of San Francisco - considered one of Vandelvira's key works along with the remodelling of the Cathedral -, and numerous palaces such as that of Jabalquinto, in the flamboyant Gothic style, whose façade contrasts with the simplicity of the church of Santa Cruz, one of the few examples of Andalusian Romanesque architecture.

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